OK. So I've felt kinda under the weather recently (just a small cold I think) and it got me thinking about how far I've come in terms of taking a rest day as opposed to working out still. I remember there was a point in college where I would still go to the gym NO MATTER WHAT and work-out. I thought it wasn't doing any harm and it would make me feel better (disclaimer: nope, definitely not)! I've definitely calmed down a bit as I've gotten older and wiser (ha..so I like to think) and really go by how I'm feeling that day.
Fever: nope definitely NOT running/working-out/ doing anything besides lounging
Cold: sometimes...depends on my symptoms
Stuffy nose: I try to push through it and adjust my speed/expectations accordingly
Headache: I always TRY to do something (especially outdoors if I can because I've found it helps) but sometimes resting is the best cure
BUT what about when you're marathon training and MISS A DAY?!? Ohmygoodness you guys, I used to FREAK OUT when I'd miss a training day. Like actually thought I should just pull out of the race now because I won't be 100% prepared, but that is most definitely NOT true. Sometimes taking a day here or there will actually HELP you to that finish line and you'll be MORE prepared.
So, how do you know if you should push through a training day if you're just 'not feeling it' or take a day off?
Feeling tired: push through and adjust after a mile if you still feel that way. I normally almost always feel better after I push through that first 10-15 minutes of a run
Utterly exhausted: physical exhaustion--> Best to take a rest day. Mental exhaustion--> try to push through because this is how you'll feel at the end of your goal race! ready to give up, but you're prepared and ready to tackle ANYTHING!
TIme constraints: Be flexible with your goals and if you only have an hour after work, adjust your goals and get what you can done. Maybe look at your training that week and take the bump in the road as a sign to try running on a different day or switching around when you do your long run. Change can make us a stronger runner. I also really enjoy switching up my tempo/speedwork/long run days to give my mind a break from monotony of training for a big race
Pain in your body while running: Take a rest day. It's never worth creating an injury just to get in your miles for the day. You'll come back stronger and ready to tackle the miles the next day (or two).
How do you judge when to take a day off?
Physical vs mental exhaustion: I ALWAYS struggle with these two and deciphering between taking a rest day vs pushing through. How do you decipher between the two?
HAVE A GREAT DAY!