We have all heard some coach or inspirational YouTuber shouting that if you want to be the best then you can’t take days off. And believe it or not, I would agree with them.
Yes, you read me correctly: if you are an athlete, there are no days off. But hear me out because I interpret this expression differently than you might think.
First off, I am all for taking physical days off. If your schedule, health, fitness, or family life requires you to take a day off, then take it. It is better to take a day off periodically than not taking those days off and either getting an overuse injury. Or getting sick because of a compromised immune system. Or burning out and quitting altogether.
However, even on physical days off, you are still an athlete and this is how I interpret the phrase “no days off:”
You are an athlete every single day of the year so act like it.
Act like an athlete every day.
Keep a schedule.
Work towards a goal and create habits that will get you there.
Fuel your body with the food and nutrients you need.
Aid your body in recovery by not sitting too long, neglecting mobility, or skimping on sleep.
Recognize that life will happen, things will get in your way, and it is your reaction to those obstacles that count.
Be patient with yourself and others.
Train yourself with your abilities not your “dream” abilities or your neighbor’s.
So while you may be taking a day off from the pool, you can (and should) still treat yourself like an athlete. There are no days off from that.
Coach Chris, Tri Swim Coach