Why are we so reluctant to take a day off from our workout routines? Is it because we still haven't left the 1980's, when 'No pain, no gain' was our mantra? Do we really think we're going to lose all of our fitness if we decide to bag a workout?
I've been following a lot of training philosophies since my Jane Fonda aerobics videotape days. Thankfully, fitness science really has evolved since then.
Trainers like Phil Maffetone, Chris Carmichael, and Joe Friel (my favorites - I'll write more about them in the future) emphasize the critical nature of rest in any training plan. And I have to admit, the older I get, the more important recovery days become, not only to ward off injuries, but also to reap the most benefit from my training.
Personally, I like my recovery days. They let me take guilt-free time off from riding or running, and allow me to indulge in other fun things like working out in the yard or walking the boys or going out with friends.
Here's one of my secrets: I always take off at least two days before an important event. Prior to Double Duathlon Weekend, my last training session was on Wednesday, and it wasn't a hard workout, either. (Yes, I know I did a duathlon the day after a duathlon, but that was because of the planning capabilities of the event organizers - not my choice).
Monday and Tuesday were both recovery days for me, because of the intensity of the back-to-back workouts and because my life was pretty much consumed by race preparation stuff the entire week prior. In fact, I started 'recovering' early, with a celebratory Cucumber Margarita at Momocho!
Recovery doesn't have to mean 'no workout', either. It just means 'easy'. Leave the heart rate monitor at home. Go out and play.
- Walk with the boys or hike in Bedford Reservation
- Ride my Rockhopper on the Canal Towpath, preferably with Jackie and Dave, preferably with the Winking Lizard in Peninsula as a mid-point ride destination.
- Running, at a slow pace, on the Hike and Bike trail
- Yoga! I like the classes at Namaste Yoga Studio in Sagamore Hills.
What are your favorite recovery day workouts?