Why Your Off Day Should Be OFF the Bike—A Practical Tip
Wondering what to do on your off day? STAY OFF THE BIKE! If you’re new to this site, you may or may not know that I wrote a book all about nether regions and the bike called ‘Saddle, Sore: Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy.’ The book was all about how to take care of yourself—from choosing the right bike shorts to healing a saddle sore—and it’s something I’m immensely proud of writing because I know just how many women it helped and how many conversations it started. I also started the website SaddleSoreWomen.com as a place for women to go to find even more resources. The site doesn’t get updated anymore because I’m writing over here about all kinds of athletic stuff, but I was browsing through it the other day to find a link to answer a saddle numbness question and I realized ‘wow, there was a ton of helpful content here’! So, I’m going to bring a few of those older articles over here, with some minor updates.
This is a repost from SaddleSoreWomen.com
After a couple really long endurance weeks of building base (and a month at a junior camp), I’ve realized something: we all understand the importance of rest days, but we also all really, really love riding our bikes. The problem here, though, is that we love riding our bikes so much that we ride them even when we should be taking an actual day off.
Today was a fantastic example of that for me. It’s the first off-day that I’ve had in a couple weeks, and the guys we’re staying with wanted to do a morning coffeeshop spin. While I’ve been able to avoid saddle sores so far, I admit that my butt was definitely in need of a break from time in the saddle and in a chamois. But at the same time, coffee! pastries! … I’m a sucker for a good coffeeshop ride and hang out. So initially, I said yes. And then, I thought better of it.
I talk to riders all the time who complain that they have saddle sores that just will not go away, and I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that they don’t ever take a real rest day—especially for those who bike to work or use their bike for errands, or who spend most of their social time in the saddle. It’s hard to get a full day away from the bike!
As for me and the coffeeshop ride? I didn’t go. And I missed coffee. But… I am going to feel so, so much better tomorrow when I get back on the bike.
If you have a rest day and you have the urge to ride, I’m begging you: take a day off every now and then. It’s worth it. Let your body (especially your skin and sensitive soft tissue) recover—you’ll save yourself from saddle sore and skin issues later on, I promise.
Instead, you could:
- Do some yoga
- Go for a walk
- Do a quick run or jog
- Do some core strength work
- Catch up on bike maintenance!
What do you do on your off days? Do you appreciate them?