View Full Version : Rest Days?

01-23-2007, 11:24 AM
Just curious how other people handle rest days. Apart from stuff that gets in the way, like illness or a personal crisis, do you schedule them into your planned workouts for the week, or do you wait until your body tells you- enough already!? I’m sure it is different for people training for triathlons vs. “regular” folk , like myself. I realized yesterday that my body was feeling kind of “beat-up” and sore from the aerobic stuff and weights I have been gung-ho on for the last couple of weeks. I looked at my work-out log, and realized it had been 10 days since I took a break, which is unusual for me. So I took today off, aside from some stretching at 5 AM, even though I am feeling a little guilty about it.

01-23-2007, 11:38 AM
Hi, Bambu! Your body definitely needs rest, and regularly. A lot of people who get lots of exercise, will give different body parts rest and work other areas on a daily basis. From what I've read and noticed, the difficulty of your workouts can make a difference how much rest you need - i.e. a very strenuous leg muscle workout could take up to 3 days to recover from, so for the next few days, legs should do no more than light walking or spinning without resistance, but upper body could do some work....

My general approach is to have a plan, but listen to my body. If my planned rest day is Wednesday, but I feel tired on Tuesday, I'll swap them. Different people need different amounts of rest, but almost every advice I've ever read is to take at least one whole day off a week. I've also recently read to have a recovery week every 4 weeks, with lighter exercise than usual.

Hugs and butterflies,

01-23-2007, 04:33 PM
I bike 4 days a week, run two, and swim one evening (after biking in the morning). Yeah, I'm training for a triathlon. I schedule every Saturday as a rest day. If something will prevent my outside Sunday ride I might switch my Saturday and Sunday, but I always get in that rest day.

01-25-2007, 03:51 AM
oh the guilt issue,isnt it a horrid wasted emotion!im endeavouring to have one no bike day a week,i tend to swim on this day and treat myself to a sauna,AND I STILL EAT WELL.before i didnt on rest days and then i found the next day i wasnt refreshed and replenished.i also plan proactive things to do instead.like spring cleaning!bigger dog walk,i duno,clean the car.........OR EVEN CLEAN YOUR BIKE:eek:

01-25-2007, 04:12 AM
I have at least one day a week 'off'. It sort of depends on the racing/training schedule (or the weather) which day of the week but mostly I plan it on a monday or friday. I normally do a half hour muscle stretching excercises on that 'off' day. Rest is essential to give your muscles time to heal/recuperate.

01-25-2007, 04:41 AM
I take Fridays as my typical rest day. (Except for this past week when I had a rest week. :o .) It's important to schedule these in so you don't suffer burnout.

01-25-2007, 04:59 PM
Well - I found these hardest to build in to my training when I was new at cycling.

In 2005 every ride was a contest - could I go faster than last time? Could I make my time/average "better"?

Now I know how crucial rest days are in order to allow your body to make adjustments to the demands you have asked of it.

My week is something like this...

Sunday - gentle ride, between 30-50km long, zones 3-4

Monday - hill reps... gargh!

Tuesday - active recovery, about 20-30km in zones 1-2

Wednesday - sprint intervals, about an hour to an hour and a half which includes warming up, the sprints take me into zones 5, 5a

Thursday - active recovery, about 20-30km in zones 1-2

Friday - rest day, no riding usually unless my legs really need to move in which case about 10km on the flat in zone 1

Saturday - race day! 40 minutes of warming up in zones 1-2, just over an hour of pack racing or 40 minutes of timetrial in zones 4-5b and then 20-30 minutes cooling down again.

Of course, this is variable... for example

Today (Friday) I went for a gentle 20km ride with a work colleague at lunch time, because it is ages since we have ridden together. She knows I have a race tomorrow, so we rode to my heart-rate.

Next Monday I will commute to/from work - thats over 20km each way, but I'll ride the hills hard on the way home (we live 600' above sea level)
My rest day will be Tuesday as I am in town til 8:30pm - if its nice though, I'll bring my bike to work and go for a 20km lunch time ride.

The following week I have a Thursday time trial, so Friday will be active recovery so my legs will still work for the Satuday race.

Never feel guilty about "days off" - they are crucial in your fitness goals. Remember when we ride/race hard (whether its cycling, running, swimming/whatever... our muscles end up with tiny tears in them... we need to give them time to repair and evolve... rest days - even if they are "active recovery" days, are crucial.

01-26-2007, 05:33 AM
Generally speaking for me, I like to have 1-2 rest days per week and then I take it easy for the week every 4th week (about 4 hours training that week instead of normal 7-8).

01-26-2007, 09:53 AM
Just by life's general patterns, that's what I do, too. If life's general patterns don't cooperate, I make conscious adjustments. IMO if you should feel guilty, it should be for making your body *work* all those consecutive days... now, your atonement is to give it the eleventh day off... and make *sure* you don't do that again :)

01-27-2007, 04:02 AM
gosh,this makes me realise that rest days are even more essential,at the moment im doing 16 1/2bike hrs a week,the intensity increasing,plus weights and maybe a swim,and rowing intervals.....racing season begins end of march...one sure sign of me needing a rest day is when i "call screen"the telephone and get irritated with the dog.