My Favorite Rest Day Activities
Training for a triathlon is a lot of work. On top of choosing the right race and making sure you have all of the right gear, it’s also important to create and stick to a workout plan that revolves around swimming, biking, and running multiple times a week.
It is easy to forget that a training plan isn’t really complete without scheduled rest days to recover, relax, and let your body recharge. While taking a day off sounds like an easy thing to do, for many triathletes – myself included – shutting off training mode for a day can be a challenge.
So on rest days when I’m feeling a bit restless, I try to plan a low intensity activity to keep my body and mind focused on the task at hand. My four favorite options include:
1. Stretching and mobility training: While stretching should be a regular part of daily workouts, I like to place a special emphasis on flexibility and mobility on my off days. Sometimes I’ll schedule a restorative yoga class or spend time at home with my yoga mat. I also try to work on sore muscles and tight spots with a foam roller or lacrosse ball. It’s better to work through muscle kinks on an off day than have to deal with them on a bike ride, run, or during a swim workout.
2. Meal plan: Planning healthy and satiating meals takes time and work, especially if most of your time is spent training. Rest days are a great opportunity to plan, purchase, and prepare meals for the week. You’ll thank yourself when dinner is ready minutes after coming home from an evening brick workout.
3. Long walk: If you’re feeling particularly restless, lace up your shoes and go for a long walk. It’s low impact and low intensity while still giving you the opportunity to get moving. Kick it up a notch by bringing along your favorite book on tape or podcast, and stop every quarter mile for a stretch.
4. Gear check: Sleep, eat, go to work, train, repeat. Training for a triathlon can make some days feel packed to the brim with almost no time for anything else. Use your rest day to take an assessment of your bike, run gear, and swim accessories. Does something need to be fixed? Are you in desperate need of a new pair of goggles? Take an inventory and use this day to get it done.
Meaghan is the blogger behind the ever popular "the fit crasher"