When Rest Is Best

By Asha

Did you know taking a rest day will make you a better runner?

So you have set a running goal. Maybe it is the 23W Fun Run, or the Melbourne Marathon or perhaps you want to run 3km without stopping. Whatever it is, being able to listen to your body and take rest is vital.

When we give our body adequate rest we promote muscle protein synthesis (aka. gains), reduce inflammation, reduce our risk for injury and guarantee that we train effectively on the days we do run.

Rest can take a couple of forms…

1. Complete rest:  no exercise except the normal daily movement you do (walk to the café, run around after kiddies)

2. Active recovery:  foam rolling, gentle walk/cycle/swim. This is more beneficial as we encourage blood flow through our sore muscles, reduce lactic acid build up and it keeps us more flexible

What about nutrition?

Alongside rest, adequate nutrition and sleep is paramount to being a successful and injury free runner.

  1. 1:1 carbs to protein ratio before running.
  2. 2:1 carbs to protein ratio after running.

Running on an empty stomach is do-able but I guarantee you will get more out of your run with some fuel in you and carbohydrates are our best friend!

 How do we know when NOT to run?

  • When a normal run feels harder than usual – your body will tell you when it needs rest!
  • When recovery from a run takes longer than usual – i.e. 2 days of DOMs instead of the usual 1 day you experience.
  • When you notice aches and pains that weren’t there before. Tight achilles? Sore feet? Aching hips?
  • When you dread going out for your run to begin with. We should enjoy running. Forcing yourself into it will lead to a sub-par run and odds are you will cut corners with your warm up/cool down and end up injuring yourself.

Where to from here…

  1. Check out Asha’s beginners running guide to get started
  2. Add some of these workouts for variety!
  3. Download your training program (see below)
  4. Enrol into the 23W Fun Run on January 29th.

Keep an eye on 23W’s Instagram and our weekly newsletter for some upcoming guides on how to effectively warm up and cool down after a run!

Have you downloaded your running plan?

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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