What do I do on rest days?
Yesterday was a rest day. As I mentioned previously, I have changed things up, and am planning a rest day every 3 days. But a rest day doesn’t necessarily mean putting my legs up, and do nothing. It means no hard training. Yesterday, I did 15 minutes of stretching, followed by a 30 minute, simplified core workout, and then a 2 hour walk in the afternoon.
Test days are also days that I plan to complete a few chores & errands. For example, yesterday while out for a walk, I got a haircut, shopped for electrolytes, and coffee for the week. This way I keep training days free from errands when I have less time, or want to train more.
Sometimes, rest days include a recovery ride. Other times, I’m too tired to even do errands. So, I take each rest days as they come. If I’m feeling really well, I may skip it altogether, and fit in a workout. I have also discovered I can do upper body, or core weight training sessions more often than leg workouts. I may do arms, shoulders, or core training on rest days without affecting cycling recovery.
You can see rest days are flexible. I do as little, or as much, as I feel like doing. If I feel well rested, I do more, but don’t overdo it. If I feel tired, I may do nothing.
How do I determine how I feel? Well it’s somewhat subjective. First, I check my resting heart rate after getting out of bed. If it is in the mid 30’s bpm, I’m usually well rested. I have seen it as low as 31 bpm. If it is 42+, I need to rest. I have seen it as high as 45. I also pay attention to how my legs are feeling. If they are unusually stiff, or sore when I first get up, they usually need more rest.
Rest days are key. This is when your body adapts, gets stronger, and more flexible. It is a mistake to skip them, because they enable you to train harder when you return to training. But for me, these are the most difficult days of the week. I don’t like them. For years, I never rested. I’m so accustomed to getting up, and training for a few hours.
I need to work on this.