So many times I hear my running friends say how much they don’t look forward to rest days. While there are a few disadvantages to them; one of them is cutting back on caloric intake, another is not being able to run.
But there are so many advantages to having a rest day, like getting the laundry done. And seeing one’s friends. And going shopping, and just relaxing. And hey, how about catching up on all those shows you’ve been missing all those nights you spent running and working out?
And besides all the obvious household needs, your body has necessary needs like muscle repair that will not get done if you don’t take one rest day a week. It needs downtime to get well. Then you take the risk of injury. Some people can run every day, but not as many as popular opinion wants to believe. I shy away from folks who cheer others on to “just go run” rather than say to “run smart” instead. Being a smart runner sometimes means running less, but staying injury-free. And, on top of that, muscle growth doesn’t happen unless rest time is taken. You think you get those great abs, thighs or biceps on the days you work them? Nope. You get them on the days you don’t.
What I’m saying may be obvious, but it does bear repeating. I think the problem arises when runners may see rest days as some sort of punishment. It isn’t. Think of it as a reward. Doing laundry isn’t a reward, of course, but your clothes smell awesome when they’re clean and your friends and that cute girl on the bus won’t mind sitting next to you. Trust me on this.