How to get the most from your rest day

1. Plan Ahead

Schedule your week so that you give your body the chance to recover from your biggest sessions. Don’t forget that this includes the impact of work and family life too.


For example if you’ve done a long run on a Sunday morning, try and schedule a rest afternoon off your feet rather than a family shopping trip for the rest of the day.


Also, don’t forget the importance of fueling your body even on days that you are not training. For example, if you have an early morning commute on your bike and skip breakfast before you set off, make sure you have some breakfast for when you get to work to avoid struggling with your concentration and energy levels throughout the rest of the morning.


2. 30 Minute Rule

Your metabolism stays lifted for around 30 minutes post-exercise. Make the most of this opportunity by replacing carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes  to optimize your recovery and provide your body with what it needs to make the adaptations you have stimulated during training.


In order to do this, make sure you carry post session snacks and drinks with you in your training bag. By doing this you won’t miss out on the all important 30 minute slot. And when you get home or back to work, make sure you get some real food to let your body recover completely.

3. Recovery Tools Aren’t All Good

Although Ice baths and compression clothing can be of great help around competition, using them consistently throughout training has been found to blunt the training response, as it removes some of the stimulus for adaptation. Stick to properly cooling down, with a good stretch routine and maybe some foam roller work to ease tight muscles.


Further to this, as exercise is perceived by the body as a form of stress, causing inflammation, it could help if you try and eat foods or products that reduce systemic inflammation such as tomatoes. This aids recovery times but does not impact locally on the muscle and impair training adaptations.


For more information on this, and for more nutrition advice look on the SIS website.