If you follow my Instagram or Facebook page at @TheFitWanderluster you may be aware that I’m training for the Rome Marathon. I’m doing my best to follow my program to safely increase my mileage while hoping to prevent injury; including taking advantage of my rest days.
My marathon program (hybrid Hal Higdon/Asics sub 4 hours) has me running 4 times a week with two of those days including strength training, a cross-training day and two rest and recovery days. I also throw in core work daily and yoga 1-2 times a week which also sometimes falls on my rest days that turn into active recovery days.
But why Rest?
Rest days, along with proper hydration, nutrition, and sleep (due to its ability to produce growth hormone which assists in repairing and rebuilding muscles), will allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild.
Rest allows for strength and efficiency gains. When the body is training, one creates microscopic tears to the tissues. The bodies ability to regenerate and repair is as necessary and essential as the actual workouts. If rest and recovery is ignored the body will, in fact, weaken over time resulting in decreased performance, fatigue, altered hormonal states, poor sleeping patterns, reproductive disorders, decreased immunity, loss of appetite, and mood swings.
If those aren’t good enough reasons rest days will also, plain and simple, give you more time and allow for a mental refresh.
On my rest days, I like to travel and explore. For instance my rest days typically fall on a Monday (which luckily for me is also my day off from work) so I take advantage to go on a day trip. This past Monday, I made my way to Trier, Germany.
Trier is German’s oldest city. It boasts architectural designs from Roman times dated back to 50 BC. It’s mystical and awe-inspiring to see history whether its the ruin remains or updated infrastructure on facades, this town is quaint, cute, walkable and affordable.
I started my trek by parking centrally near the Hauptmarkt. The entrance to the market is the impressive Porta Nigra, which is a large Roman City Gate that opened in 200 AD.
A pedestrian plaza with wooden framed buildings filled with shopping and eating, the Hauptmarkt makes you feel like you were dropped into Disney’s Epcot Park.
A short walk away is the amphitheater built in the 2nd century which hosted animal and gladiator combats, and Imperial Roman baths, later constructed in the 4th century. Mostly in ruins, one has to use their imagination to get a clearer picture of once what was.
Afterword a connecting park and garden will lead you to the Kurfürstliches Palais and Trier Cathedral, known to be the oldest cathedral in the country, which encircles you back to the market.
Moral of the story, take rest days, travel, explore, follow your dreams all in the name of health 😉.