Rest is so crucial to your triathlon training plan, but it’s often the hardest part of the program. You spend so much time doing the work that when you have to stop moving it can feel like you’re sliding backwards. Stop thinking that way! Rest is crucial to allow your muscles to repair, rebuild, and come back stronger. Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate rest into your program:
No really. Settle in for a nice Netflix binge after a hard training session and don’t feel guilty about it. Take a day off activity. It’s okay. Just limit it to one day.
I loooove a relaxing bath when I’m sore. It helps relax my muscles and my mind. For added relief, add a cup or two of Epsom Salts, which have been shown to reduce soreness.
This evil device is so amazing for giving yourself a very painful but very beneficial massage. It helps relieve soreness, lengthen your muscles, and generally feel more human. Spend some time each evening running your quads, hamstrings, back, IT bands, calves- heck, everything!- over the foam roller. For a great foam rolling routine, visit the ladies at Tone It Up here: http://toneitup.com/2014/09/frisky-fall-foam-roller/
Training tightens your muscles, and you have to stretch every day to lengthen them out. If you don’t stretch, your muscles will be unable to perform at their optimal level, and tight muscles lead to injury (trust me, I speak from experience). So be sure to stretch after your training session and at the end of the day before you head to bed.
When you exercise you create tiny tears in your muscles, and when you sleep your body repairs those tears and makes your muscles stronger. Getting enough sleep is so crucial to making your body stronger. Shoot for 6-8 hours a night, and feel free to take a cat nap!
Have a question about rest? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask! If I don’t know the answer, I will find out. I’m happy to look like an idiot so that you don’t have to.