Sunday Meals and Recovery vs Rest Days

Similar to most other weeks, last week Sunday was a day off from running for me. Typically, we call this a “rest day”. While that is true, I’ve been trying to think of it more as a “recovery day”. Whats the difference? Typically when we think of rest, it involves doing very little- maybe sleeping in, laying on the couch all day, and taking a mental break from working out, too. It’s certainly important to rest, but it’s also important to recover. 

The difference here is that I tried to make my focus on recovery (hydration, foam rolling, light stretching/yoga, eating well, moving around to keep my muscles from getting tight…) while also getting a physical and mental break from running. It’s not a huge difference in the way the day may look, but this slight shift in mindset may make a difference in how we feel on our next run. In the past I noticed that I always felt very tired on my rest days, and it was tough to get into the groove on my next run. 

Anyway, that was just a tangent related to the title of this post, but the real topic for today is food! 

I “slept in” until 6:30 on Sunday morning and then grabbed a banana to eat while thinking about what I wanted for breakfast. 


Note that I am already wearing compression socks…starting out the recovery process as soon as I woke up!

I ended up making an egg scramble with spinach and sweet potatoes, a side of bacon, along with one of these soft and chewy protein granola bars. Plus coffee.


After breakfast I put together the crock pot meal that we would be having for dinner that night. Then I foam rolled and did an easy 20 minute yoga video to help loosen up some of my tight muscles. Next up was an epsom salt bath- very relaxing plus helps with recovery- win/win!

and a few minutes of legs up the wall pose, in my compression socks and leggings

and a few minutes of legs up the wall pose, in my compression socks and leggings

We headed out to Fresh Market to get a few items for the week and something for lunch. I went with chicken noodle soup and ate it with some cheddar cheese and crackers on the side.


Then I spent a few hours “resting” by laying on the couch doing blog stuff. Honestly I am really bad at sitting still so after 2 hours I had reached my limit!

I went for a walk while listening to a Run To The Top podcast. 


When I got back I needed something to snack on so made some trail mix: almonds, peanuts, cashews, raisins, and a few chocolate chips.

trail mix

Then it was time to “hydrate”. (Don’t worry, I was drinking water all day long and continued to do so even with the beer.) I also threw on a new pair of compression socks after my walk. 

sam adams

Dinner was a crock pot meal: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies. It was my first time making this recipe and it was easy and good- I would definitely make it again!
honey garlic chicken and veggiesThe best meal of the day was dessert. We got this Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip gelato from Fresh Market. 


A perfect way to finish off the weekend and prepare for the week ahead!

Do you use days off from running as “rest days” or “recovery days” (or a little bit of both)?

When you’re not hydrating with water what do you like to drink?

Favorite gelato flavor?


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53 responses on Sunday Meals and Recovery vs Rest Days

  1. So I slept in my pro compression calf sleeves last night. Ha! My calves have been bothering me and I feel so much better this morning! I swear these socks work…I thought Sunday was my rest/recovery day but I think participating in the heart walk, although it was only walking, wasn’t so great after my hard long run on Saturday. That’s when my calves started to bother me! So weird, all I really did was walk a bit.
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…I need to eat when I first wake up & Monday’s mealsMy Profile

  2. Yum! Looks like a good recovery day :)
    When you’re not hydrating with water what do you like to drink? Crystal light, seltzer, or wine/beer :) Esp. pumpkin beer right now!

    Favorite gelato flavor? Ooh pistachio or hazlenut. Or anythign caramel. I love the talent flavors!

  3. I try to either cross train or at least do a 30 minute walk on my days off from running. Only after a particularly tough race will I completely rest and not do much :) And I live for seltzer… it’s the best way to hydrate in my opinion. Sea salt caramel gelato for the win!
    Jamie recently posted…Tuesday on the RunMy Profile

  4. I think I use my “rest” days as both rest and recovery days. I definitely cut back on my physical activity for the day, but also really focus on hydrating and stretching if I’m sore! Watching Netflix is always proved to help recovery;)
    Gelato – the best for recovery!;) I had coconut gelato one time and it was probably my favourite dessert ever.
    Grace @ Diary of a Running Snail recently posted…Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip MuffinsMy Profile

  5. I almost always use “rest days” as “recovery days.” Especially since I’ve been dealing with an injury, I focus on foam rolling and some light strength training on those days (aka I lay in front of the TV and kinda do some ab work or a few squats) and I do LOTS of stretching. It makes my non-rest days a lot easier when I take the time to actually recover!
    Maddie @ Dixie Runs recently posted…Yet another injury update: the good and the badMy Profile

  6. Slept in until 6:30! Wow, so late! You must have felt so lazy! haha

    6:30 is just about the earliest I can ever drag myself out of bed (unless I have a super long run)!

    I’ve been wanting to try that Talenti gelato. I think the packaging is really nice, but I don’t like the consistency of gelato. I think it’s slimier than ice cream, haha!
    Kristina recently posted…Curious CatMy Profile

  7. Great point about the differences between recovery versus rest days. I do a little bit of both I would say. If I take 2 days off during the week and one is doing the work week, I tend to take a full rest day but if its during the weekend I do more recovery by wearing my compression socks, stretching, foam rolling and usually walking my dog. I am a water fanatic so I drink a lot of it but I also love the coconut Bai5 and coffee!
    Angie @ Pace with Grace recently posted…The Comparison TrapMy Profile

  8. This honestly looks like the perfect Sunday to me. I never really thought about recovery vs rest days. It’s usually the day I get either everything done or nothing done at all. Depends on what my body and mind needs at the time I suppose.

    I personally like drinking wine when I’m not drinking water :) But I also like seltzer or Hint water…both of the water variety but slightly more exciting.

    And my favorite gelato flavor IS the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip! Always my go-to with gelato or froyo. I love it.
    Annie R recently posted…Running CampsMy Profile

  9. Well, you already know what I’m going to say! A day off from running? What’s that? LOL! Maybe if I’m injured, and in that case all I do is cry in the fetal position and drink beer. Speaking of which, I like to rehydrate with Coronas! But now that it’s getting colder out, I’m into the darker beers. I love Rickard’s Red.
    Suzy recently posted…Woozy Wednesday: Prize HoneyMy Profile

  10. mine are totally rest days. By sunday I have been “on” for 6 days straight and my mind and body just want to sit on the couch and watch TV. we do end up doing some chores and errands but for the most part I chill with a little stretching/foam rolling thrown in for good measure. That gelato looks really good though! I keep seeing in at kroger but cant pass up bluebell!

  11. I think I use them as both. I try not to do too much on either day. I love crock pot dinners because they always have leftovers. I am a Coke addict. That is my goal every run to make it back to get the ice cold Coke waiting for me. Thanks
    heather recently posted…bakingrunner: Who knew WednesdayMy Profile

  12. I love the thought process behind recovery days vs rest days! I think I need to start using that – right now my rest days are exactly what you described, being pretty much lazy all around.
    I’ve love to try that recipe (garlic everything, all day, errday), but noticed the link takes me to the podcast page – which don’t get me wrong, I love it, but am already subscribed :) Do you have the recipe link?
    If I’m not drinking water it’s usually either green tea, chai tea, or wine (red or white) :)
    Amber recently posted…Race Report – Charles Street 12My Profile

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