Good morning! I mentioned yesterday that I took an “unplanned” rest day last week, so I thought I’d share a little more about that with you today. I’ve talked about rest days in the past, and even though I feel as though I’ve made leaps and bounds towards improvement in this area, it can still be something I struggle with. These days, it’s not the actual REST that troubles me- trust me, I love and fully embrace my “rest days” now- but rather, it’s the need to take an unplanned rest day that really tests my progress in this area.
When I plan out my week of workouts (I don’t share this with you guys anymore because I wasn’t sure if it was boring you- if you’re interested in seeing what my weekly workouts look like, please let me know!), I also plan out my rest days. I look at what I have going on and when I think I want to workout and rest and it usually works out quite well. Normally Fridays and Sundays are my rest days, but sometimes it’s Saturday and Sunday or maybe Friday and Saturday or sometimes just one day depending on what events I have going on for that particular week. Last week, though, I ended up taking a rest day on Thursday, totally unplanned.
Let’s back up a little, though. I started the week of strong with my workouts- on Monday, I got up and ran 4 miles (8:10/mile pace) and then did the first day of the #20x20challenge workout (forgot about it!) and then did a photo-shoot, which required lots of moving and holding and re-takes for various moves. I felt good throughout the day, but by the time I finally got home to eat (8:30pm), I felt unreasonably tired, but I chalked it up to a big, long day with lots of physical activity. Tuesday I woke up feeling good, again, and had another strong lunch break workout and ended up having to cancel bootcamp, meaning my day was cut short- awesome! Wednesday I went for a fast 3.5 mile run before class (8/mile pace) before teaching my UXF Burn class, which is a standard Wednesday for me, however I really had to work hard to keep my energy up throughout class, so I knew something was up.
That night, I could tell something was going on because I just didn’t feel right. I didn’t sleep well that night so by the time I woke up on Thursday, I was tired and sore and overall really lethargic feeling.
All morning I had a mental conversation with myself:
“I wonder why I feel like this. Maybe I should rest today. But I don’t want to rest today, that’s not part of the plan. Maybe if I take Ibuprofen I’ll feel better and can get my workout done. But what if I end up having a crappy workout? What if it makes me feel worse? Can I workout on Friday? Yeah, I can workout on Friday. But maybe I’ll need to take more than 1 rest day if I’m still not feeling well. Ok, no gym for me today. I’ll just go for a long walk outside to get freshair, movement and some sun.”
No joke, that was the types of conversations running through my head- I know, I know. I have issues! But, like I said, it wasn’t the actual issue of taking a rest day, but it was the fact that I was taking an unplanned on, and I don’t like when I don’t follow a plan, so it was a real mental struggle. But the thing is, what’s the big deal between taking a rest day on Thursday instead of Friday? Why should that even matter? (side note: reminds me of the time I drank wine on a Tuesday, and not because I had an event outing to go to, but rather because I felt like it).
The thing is, it shouldn’t matter. While I think it’s good to go into the week having a plan for workouts and rest days, at the end of the day, I should be willing and open to changing said plan based on how I feel. If I’m feeling tired or sore and have the ability to switch workout and rest days, why shouldn’t I do that? Or rather, why wouldn’t I do that? There is no right or wrong when it comes to this, but for some reason I struggle with veering from my original plan and, day I say, living in the moment.
I had to laugh at myself when I woke up on Friday though- I slept great and woke up feeling SO MUCH BETTER. Like myself, and it was awesome. Who would’ve thought a little ol’ rest could do that to you 😉 Even though I KNOW this to be the case, sometimes I really need a reminder or a real life “ah-ha” moment, and I’m happy to have had one this week because each time I veer off my plan or take more rest days- and unplanned ones at that- it makes the whole thing easier for me to mentally accept and appreciate.
SO, the moral of my very long story (what can I say? I like to write!) is:
- Listen to your body
- Take rest days when you FEEL like you need them, not always according to the plan
- Stop being so freaking Type A and try to go with the flow (specific to me, but if you fall into this category, too, then it applies to you!)
- RELAX and realize it’s OK to go off plan… or to not even have a plan 😉
Questions for you: Do you plan your rest days or take them as you feel like it? How many do you tend to take in a week? Do you have a hard time veering off from a plan?