Exercise Tip Thursday - Take at least one FULL rest day every week, maybe even two

It's not the actual running mileage, the amount of weight lifted or the hard effort that makes you instantly faster and stronger. It's during the recovery (rest) in the days after that your body adapts to the stresses from exercise. The muscles and fascia (a connective tissue) generally require about 48 hours to return to baseline in a well-trained athlete. Less experienced athletes often need a third day. More experienced might only need 24-36 hours. Back-to-back days of exercise result in an accumulation of fatigue and muscle damage. This is especially true if you keep using the same muscle groups. Unless you are an elite or professional athlete then you should probably be taking more FULL recovery days. If you absolutely must exercise to stay mentally sane, get in something super easy like a slow swim or easy walk during one of the recovery days (which means it isn't a true full recovery day but an active recovery day). Otherwise, do some of the workouts that you need in a combined fashion. That means if you run five days each week and lift weights on two days then at least one of those weight training days is going to overlap with a run day in order to have a full day off. A day off is the perfect day to do your maintenance like foam and ball rolling for 5-10 minutes. 

 Like the sign says, I'll be taking a full rest day after this triathlon is over. 

Like the sign says, I'll be taking a full rest day after this triathlon is over. 

Please send any questions to mountainridgept@gmail.com.