WEEKLY TOPIC – What Do We Mean When We Say Rest Day?
This topic came up on a blog this week and I’m sure it has come up for each of us at some time. The Galloway Training plan has us doing two workouts during the week and the group workout on Saturdays. The schedule also gives us the option to rest or cross train during the week. What is rest or cross training?
Liza’s Response – Rest or Cross Training is rest from using your running or Fitness Walking muscles. For some, this means no spin class or other quad-dominant exercises. For others, this means no cross-training at all. You may be able to swim but sometimes the full body needs a day off so you can recover and not ask your body to divert energy away from recovery, by using it for a strenuous activity. Long runs or walks usually dictate whether we have the legs for cross training.
For runners, walking is great cross training. While you’re using your legs and quads, they level of engagement is much less than spinning, biking, the elliptical or a lower body strength training session. Walking is a great way to help flush the lactic acid out of your legs because it encourages blood flow and it’s low impact. You don’t need to do a long walk, 15 – 30 minutes a couple times a day after a long run is great!
For walkers, you have more latitude in your cross training because your workouts are lower intensity and impact. However, your distance does require you to rest. Eight or more miles mean your muscles need TLC too. Look at low impact activities, including slow, recovery walks, swimming or easy biking.
Don’t feel bad if you want to actually take a day during the week to do nothing. There are times when the body should be allowed to focus on recovery and not to try to find energy to get you through any type of workout. All the body to recruit everything it needs to repair your muscles and get you ready for your next workout. You can tell if you need to rest, if you start a cross training session and find that you feel sluggish. This is a sign that your body isn’t recovered from your long walk or run, and needs time and proper food and fuel to completely recover and get ready for your next run or walk.