Motivation Monday: The Importance of Taking Planned Breaks

This is my Mamavation Monday post for June 18, 2012.

Happy Monday everyone! How are you? How was your training last week? Did anyone race this past weekend?

First off I would like to give a big shout out of congratulations to Wendy (@weightsover) and to Hanan (@lilaccitymomma) for completing this Mamavation Campaign and losing a combined total of 43 lbs over the past 8 weeks!! You two ladies rock!!

In my post on Thursday I shared that I’ve come to the realisation that I’m in between training/competitive cycles (called a transitional phase) and need a 2-3 week break in order to allow my body to recover, and my brain to prepare mentally for my next competitive phase, which will see me training for a Sprint Triathlon, followed by a half marathon race and perhaps another 10k race (any suggestions on which Toronto area races I should do?). From my observation of the Mamavation campaigns, I would liken the end of my competitive season to the end of the campaign, as I’ve seen quite a few graduates burnout after their campaign, and struggle to get back up. For the most part I think this is all because of being drained mentally. It is very hard to maintain focus over a long, long period of time when we train and compete, or work very hard on a weight loss campaign, so I think it’s very important for myself, Wendy and Hanan to acknowledge this and take a planned mental and physical break, and then return back strong, ready to compete and work hard with a well defined plan. This will allow us to avoid falling off the wagon, and asking ourselves where we failed. This approach, while mostly mental, is more controlled – it gives us the break we need, and a defined time to return, perhaps even with a defined attack plan. I’m sure this kind of break could be very beneficial to anyone working towards either sport and performance goals, or even weight loss goals.


So this week I am entering my second planned week of rest and recovery and I gotta admit I totally love missing my workouts without feeling guilty about it! That said, I haven’t been completely resting, in fact I would call this past week a period of “active rest” where I’ve gone on quite a few enjoyable walks with the kids:

And I even tried a new class at my gym called “YogaFit”, which I totally loved! The moves in this Yoga class required quite a bit of strength to hold, which I really liked. I’m very competitive by nature, so I enjoyed taking a yoga class that made me work hard. At the end of the class we did some relaxation exercises that I greatly enjoyed as well. I know that one of the key things I’ve been missing in my training over the past year and a half is the meditation/mind body connection. I really do need to work hard on incorporating that into my next cycle.

That said, I’m really looking forward to jumping back onto the horse next week Monday and starting my next training cycle. My good friend Kia (@bodhi_bear), very aptly pointed out that my training should focus on speed because I already have the endurance to complete the triathlon (Man I love Kia!). She’s so right, so I’m working on a new training plan that I can’t wait to share with you next week!

Namaste everyone!!

Question/Sharing: How do you spend your time during an active rest period?

PS – Have you checked out my No-Bake Peanut Butter Protein Bite recipe on Mamavation yet? They’re delicious!


You Might Also Like

  • Lolo (
    June 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    A triathlon?! WOW!! That is amazing and very inspiring! Active rest periods for me are spent going onwalks and bike rides with my family.

    • Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader
      June 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      I love your active rest ideas! We love bike rides too 🙂

      A triathlon sounds harder than it actually is, mentally I find half marathons harder because you do the same thing for 2 hours, while a sprint triathlon is threee different activities for 30 min each.

  • klwschmidt
    June 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I love yoga! I think my favorite thing about it and pilates is that I use my own body to strengthen/stretch. I hope that makes sense…. haha

    I have found that depending on me I can determine the intensity of my workout with yoga!

    • Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader
      June 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      I don’t think I’ve experimented or tried enough Yoga classes because I still haven’t found one that I like enough to do on a regular basis 🙁

  • Chamberlain
    June 19, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Even in weight training you really need to have at least 1 week off in training to regain strength and composure.. without rest, you will easily get burned out both mentally and physically

  • Siobhan
    June 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    If you are looking for a race after your sprint triathlon (which, you are amazing for doing!) I’m a fan of the Toronto Zoo Run and I haven’t run the scotiabank waterfront half marathon but I’ve only heard great things about it!

  • mnmspecial
    June 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    You are amazing Janice! I can’t believe all the things you are able to take on and accomplish all while cheering the rest of us on and offering great in site along the way. I know I had a total burnout after my campaign because I had been going hard for so long. I think preparing to jump back in was the hardest part for me because my mind and body wanted two different things. Planning makes all the difference.
    Thank you for being you!!

  • Shannon
    June 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Janice, you continue to inspire and motivate me. Kia is a genus! As for rest weeks, since the campaign, I have scheduled one every 12 weeks. It allows me to refocus and determine if what I am doing is working for me, not just weight loss.


    Don't miss a single delicious recipe - sign up for real food recipes, challenging workouts + everything salads 4 lunch!