The Importance of Rest

This morning I decided to sleep in – until 5:30 AM. So sad that I consider that sleeping in. My friend and I went to dinner after lifting last night to celebrate her special day, as a result I got home later than expected and the snow ball grew. Lack of sleep, continued sinus issues, and probably the wine with dinner contributed to my less than stellar swim this morning. I did my workout, a total of 2,500 meters with two 500 meter pyramids in the main set. I reduced my interval time to swim all based on 2:15 per 100 for the send off. I kept to it, but the times I came in on were all a few seconds off. So instead of 5 to 10 seconds recovery, I had 3 to 8 seconds. This did not help the fact that I had lower energy. I have never enjoyed a 200 meter pull recovery set so much. By the time I was finished I wanted to go to bed. But I had to work, so that would have to wait.

This evening I am planning on heading to bed early. My body has a way of telling me when it is time to rest if my mind decides to get every bit I am able out of every waking moment. How does my body tell me? I feel lethargic and the thought of sleep is more important that eating. Now I will eat dinner, no worry there. The point is rest is just as important as a swim, bike, or run workout. It should be part of the plan. Either an active rest day, adequate sleep, or a complete day off. Adequate sleep is the one thing I can work on most often, proper time management is really the issue. Active rest day versus complete day off is the challenge. Fridays are my active rest day with only swimming. This is a harder workout than when I would walk 3 miles on my active rest day, so a good night sleep before would be the best preparation. A complete day off? (I wonder how many of you reading this are stressing your brow thinking you could never do that…) I make sure the day before a race is a complete day off for rest, if it is long course half marathon or half iron triathlon, then a day or two after the race as well.

Playing catch up with rest, as I plan to do tonight, is not always the best way to rest. I prefer to get the rest in first so my body won’t give me the lethargic lecture. Once in a while I will do it the other way and I have to be forgiving of myself. I have noticed more often than not, if it is due to an evening celebration there has been wine involved. Oh, but that has to be a mere coincidence… Regardless, life is to be enjoyed, and once in a while we pay for our enjoyment. As Socrates said “Everything in moderation, nothing in excess.” Except training of course.

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