Benefits of a Rest Day and a Good Meal

Yesterday I took the day off running. I think that officially it was only my third day off this month as I tend to squeeze some other activity or cross-training into any gaps I have.

I’m glad I did it for several reasons: firstly, I really needed a day off as I was exhausted from upping my mileage and riding to work on Monday and Tuesday. Secondly, it rained all day and if I had ridden my bike I would have been soaked through. Finally, it gave me space to think about why I was so tired.

Why was I so tired? (So nice of you to ask). I have a couple if thoughts on this.

Really rest on a rest day. Doing cross training is okay on some of the rest days, especially if you isolate the muscles and work on different sets, but I think sometimes your body needs a complete day off. Listen to your body. I hadn’t done this for a while.

Diet is the other thing I was ignoring. All the activities I was doing each day required extra fuel and I hadn’t been doing that. Theoretically I need to take on 1000 calories more each day when I run and bike to maintain my weight.

I was totally ignoring this and guess this contributed significantly to my tiredness. So it is time to power up my “Lose it” app in ‘maintain mode’ and track my calories for a while until I get back into the correct eating patterns.

Of course I need to make those calories good ones that will contribute to my fitness rather than just stuffing in candy, but that’s a whole other conversation…

My run today with fresh legs was still in the 7:51 pace range but I managed to keep my heart rate in the right zone for much more of the run, only really popping out of it within the last half mile as I saw the lights of home.

Tomorrow is track day and I will try to do a test to find my actual maximum heart rate. Should be interesting…


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