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Take advantage of rest days and speed up your recovery process

When training for a triathlon, the last thing you probably want to hear is that you need rest days. But rest days are crucial to your recovery. Not resting can actually get in the way of your success. Your body needs time to recover from the workouts and make the necessary repairs. This is even more imperative if your next triathlon is your first half. You’re following your training plan, swimming, cycling, and running. When your regimen calls for a rest day, take it! It will aid in your training and help your body increase its capabilities and stamina. Check out the 4 reasons why you should take advantage of rest days.

  • Give your body a break

If you don’t take rest days during training it can result in stress fractures, sprains, and overall poor performance. Training every day builds stress in your body. Alongside small microscopic tears in muscles that need time to heal, your body also starts to produce excess amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. Over time, this can lead to burn-out, mental fatigue, and physical injuries. Give yourself a break mentally and physically. Pro tip: learn how brick workouts can help you prepare for race day and schedule your off day after them.

  • Speed up your recovery

Yoga on your rest day can aid in your body’s recovery process.

Planned rest days are a core part of your triathlon training, especially as you’re increasing your mileage. If you are constantly training, your body can’t utilize the rest it needs to repair itself. Over time, this will begin to degrade your muscles. By taking rest days when you’re supposed to you can speed up your recovery process. If you feel like you need to do something on these days, try foam rolling or yoga. Both are low-impact options that can keep you busy and aid in your body’s recovery.

  • Catch up on life

Training is a time-consuming process that requires commitment and hard work. But becoming too invested could keep you apart from the other parts of your life that truly matter. Spend your rest day catching up on chores or errands that need to be done. Spend time with friends and family. They’re supporting your training and will be there for you on race day!

Get outside and spend time with your family on your rest day.

You could also catch up on something you enjoy that’s been put to the side during training. All of these provide you with a physical and mental break from training. You’ll thank yourself later.

  • Stay on track

Before selecting a training plan, make sure you know the basics about all triathlon distances. When building your plan, make sure you add rest days to it. Whether you’re training with a coach or just surfed the web to find a plan, everyone advises taking rest days. There are good reasons for this. They are strategically built in to give your body a break, make repairs, and prepare you for the next set of workouts. Stick to your training plan so you can keep progressing as a triathlete. 

Triathletes that incorporate rest days into their training find the best results over the long term. They’re more than just a break from training. Rest days provide your body an opportunity to heal and repair the muscles used. They also provide a mental break so you can holistically recover. As race day approaches, make sure you’re completed prepared by knowing what to expect at your first triathlon.