One Rest day or Two?
Recently, Campagnolo, the famous Italian part manufacturer, wrote a short blog on what professional riders do on a rest day while competing in the Giro d’Italia. Although these riders were high-end athletes, it was interesting to note what they did in order to perform well the next day. The riders:
- SLEPT! Sleep is the most powerful recovery agent
- They still rode on their rest day
- Did not over-eat but rather reduced caloric consumption to maintain weight
- Received massages and treatment
The mistake we often see with age-group athletes is that they do the opposite of what professionals do! Normal, working folks usually:
- Get busy and try to catch up on the little things they have neglected
- Over-eat. “I ran 3 hrs yesterday, I deserve to eat everything!”
- Over-drink. Same as above but with wine or beer
- Do not move
The rest day for age-groupers should be two days if they celebrate like it’s a victory party! As noted above, sleep is the most important recovery tool. When we over-eat, over drink and do not move our sleep is affected. Your rest day is not really helping your recovery. Often, people who follow this poor rest day routine do not feel great when they get back to their workouts. They usually say “I could use another rest day!”
So, when planning out your week and working with your coach, it’s best to put some thought into your “rest day routine” so you get the most out of your future workouts. Treat your rest day like a “workout.” Do you need one day or two? You may then sleep well and go back to your next workout invigorated and ready to roar!
The TCR Team