I have rested thoroughly for continuous two days: not even the slightest hint of active recovery, just an absence of training for triathlons. After Monday’s deep tissue massage, my muscles are slightly sore and recovering. The weeks of extended and intense training and racing have proven its toll on my body. 10 days out to Ironman Switzerland, and the tapering work is critical to my performance on 15 July.
It is interesting to note that it is during rest days that you feel restless and sore. This suggests that our muscles and tissues are recovering. The pain that you may experience involves actual repair of muscle fibres, reconstructing, and becoming stronger. When you continue training, residual hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in the bloodstream masks injuries. When the pain dissipates on your rest days, you begin to lose all pain-killing effects. The process of recovery and recuperation can be painful.
During your rest days, aim to focus on resting both mind and body. Nourish your body with more protein and fats, and moderate amounts of carbohydrates. Achieve as much restful sleep as you can. Distract your mind for endurance sports, and spend time on recreation and pastime. Our mind can suffer fatigue from the repetitive, routine workouts that we tend to do.
Fully commit to your rest and recovery days; treat them as part of your training. The time to do nothing will enhance your potential performance. Train + Rest + Recovery = Performance.