There is a crazy phenomenon that tries to assert itself again and again into triathlon training.
And against all my greatest efforts things such as grocery shopping and laundry occur. I need to go to the bank or get the car washed. I need to sometimes attend to things like basic hygiene. That, and occasionally I have to communicate with the outside world, allowing friends and family to know that I'm still alive. (Free tip: don't make your last FB status "swimming at the lake" and then fall off radar for a few days.)
Herein lies the importance of a rest day. One suddenly has 3-4 hours not dedicated to training that can be utilized for basic necessities. I find it of utmost importance to take advantage of this in an attempt to make the rest of the maddeningly busy week smoother. Here are a few ideas put into action while you are not actively swimming, biking, running, or lifting.
1) Do all shopping and procuring of food and toiletries. Buy lots. Double what you think you'd need.
2) Do ever piece of laundry that has been making your house smell like a gym locker.
3) Empty all the gear from your car (it, most likely, HAS been a gym locker and DOES stink). Let it air itself out, maybe vacuum it if you have the energy.
4) Tackle each email in your inbox that you have been putting off.
5) Pay all your bills due that week. After a 6 hour brick, you're not going to remember. No. No way, now how.
6) Acknowledge the existence of your loved ones. Maybe say thank you.
I find it important to do at least one workout if possible. But it is active recovery. No intensity or duration. Just form. I find a swim filled with technique drills really helps dispense a great deal of lactic build up. And if I can't manage it I DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. At least I tell myself that.
Even God needed a day off. I know we are triathletes and all, but we can maybe take a cue from the omnipotent.