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Rest days are important

59 days to go and today was a rest day possibly overdue.

Being deprived of more than half my expected training period due to three months of lockdown means I’m having to drive myself quite hard to spend as much time as possible on the fells over the next few weeks to recce my route and try and build myself some hill climbing legs. But that means I also need to rest hard too.

Rest days are important to allow time for damaged muscles to recover and to optimally adapt to the extra demands asked of them. Getting the right balance of rest days to training days varies depending on the type of activity, the time you have to train and personal factors such as age and baseline fitness.

I’m also balancing my training with recovering from longstanding injury. One leg is weaker than the other and I need to be careful not to push too hard too soon as I increase the frequency, duration and intensity of my outings on the hills.  It’s yet another experiment putting my body under pressure not having done a fell event like this before. As ever I’m curious to see how it works out.

Today’s rest was proper rest – not even an active recovery walk.  I spent the day looking after my two year old granddaughter while her mother was on call and it’s been delightful. I even fell asleep with her during her afternoon nap! I’ve caught up on some paperwork and emails and made ginger cake.  An early night now and I’ll be fresh as a daisy tomorrow.

All goals whether around physical exercise or anything else need a balance of hard work with easier downtime. I often hear people being quite hard on themselves if they ‘backslide’ for a day or two when on a diet or some such. They even talk in terms of failure but this couldn’t be further from the truth. So if this is you then please remember we’re human beings, not machines and we need to relax regularly. So cut yourself some slack, accept you’re human and see the downtime for what it really is, time to recover and build more muscle to achieve you goals.  Even machines need to be turned off regularly to avoid overheating and for service and maintenance.

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