Active rest. Something I continue to struggle with. Intellectually I know it is necessary. Just as the body needs sleep, so does it need a day when workouts are less intense. Thursdays are my active rest days and I find it hard to hold back. Despite what I know to be true, my body and mind wants to push hard, to feed itself happy endorphins. Will I completely overcome this? Probably not, but what I choose to do versus what I want to do is where discernment and discipline come in to play.
Today I chose to do what I know to be the right thing. I swam this morning an endurance workout that didn’t push myself too hard. Swimming after two days of running including a hard speed workout yesterday is a nice recovery for my legs. I have to admit I did feel the strain in my hamstrings this morning, staying with a swim and not adding running or cycling today was a welcome relief. Unfortunately I did not swim quite as long as I had planned. As I have mentioned, changing routines or adding a new activity to my routine is not the easiest thing to do. I have adapted well to my new schedule. What I am still getting accustomed to is using my inhaler before swimming or a hard run. This morning I was in the middle of my warm up and noticed I was breathing harder than I should – oops, forgot to use the inhaler. So with swim cap on and dripping wet I dashed into the locker room to get it. It did help, but as I progressed in the workout I did start coughing. Regulating breathing and coughing while swimming is not the easiest thing to do. In all, I swam 2,200 meters and despite my breathing, I was very pleased with my pace.
Because I did not have a workout this afternoon, I had a little extra time on my hands so I made homemade energy bars that are quite good. Only four ingredients too – bonus. Dates, almonds, dark chocolate, and almond butter. Oh, and no baking either – just whirl in the food processor, pack in the pan, and refrigerate. Since I switched to smoothies before my workout, I am not very hungry after my workout. I know I need something to “revive in 45” – a saying at my gym to take in some carbs, protein, and fat within 45 minutes of a workout. This bar has just enough to hold me over until I have my oatmeal at my office. I may not have to workout twice in active rest days, but I have to do something to feel like I am contributing to my fitness…
Discernment and discipline. Knowing what is the right thing to do and then doing it consistently. Easy to write, difficult to adhere to. But just like I see improvements in my fitness as a result of my discipline in training and discerning what to do, I will also see the improvement in my will to yield to what I know to be best. And on that note – here is a quote of wisdom I like –
“I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.” – Mae West