Learn about the importance of rest days and why you shouldn’t skip them
A rest day is the most important tool in every triathlete’s recovery toolbox. If your training plan calls for a day of rest, take it! Other recovery methods include rehydrating, post-workout refueling, and foam rolling. Without effective recovery, your long-term success will be negatively affected and you could experience burnout or sustain an injury. This is why it’s vital to understand the importance of rest days. They allow your body to recover, rebuild, and help you get ready for the next set of workouts.
A rest day is just as it seems, a day of rest from training. They facilitate recovery and allow your body to repair itself. A rest day gives your body time to fill up its glycogen reserves – a necessary store for preventing mental burnout and overtraining.
How often you take a rest day will depend on factors like your current training, experience level, and schedule. If you’ve started training for your first triathlon, then you should have at least one rest day a week, maybe even two. Experienced triathletes can easily space these out. Typically, a rest day is recommended if you have an extended training block, have had several days of workouts in a row, or just knocked out a brick workout. They’re also necessary after a race. You still need rest days even if you’re in the offseason and have dialed back your training.
Indicators you need a break
Your heart rate will provide a hint. Take a rest day if it’s difficult to maintain a steady heartbeat across multiple workouts or your resting heartbeat is raised.
Other signs include:
– Disrupted sleep pattern or difficulty sleeping
– Increased appetite, elevated cravings for sugar
– Low energy levels
– Increased irritability
– Injury or illness
It’s vital to understand the importance of rest days, don’t ignore them. Take them when your training calls for one. If needed, switch a rest day with a workout. This can help you if you have a busy schedule or your body feels extra tired.