By: Heather Nielson
Taking breaks is essential to growth. One of the most annoying things I read or hear is ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead!’ Something always has to give. Always. Whether it’s a natural law of the universe or our biology, it’s just the way it is. The sooner you recognize that truth, learn to listen to your body and schedule in down time as a priority, the healthier, more productive and happier you’ll be.
The same is obviously true then for the athlete. Taking a break is an absolutely necessary part of any athlete’s training program.
If you’re working with a coach, then it’s more than likely they will schedule ‘rest’ weeks into your training plan. Listening to your body is still your responsibility and so is communicating with your coach you’re feeling & responding to the training.
Training software, as progressive, high-tech & all-sorts-of-data-goodness-fun it is, cannot account for life stress ‘TSS’ scores. Your adrenal, neuro-muscular and immune systems are intrinsically tied to your stress level; and what’s more, those systems can’t differentiate between physical training stress and emotional, work, family, life stress. The same hormones get pumped through your system.
Keeping recovery a priority will be your biggest defense against over-training, sickness, burn-out, lack of motivation & stagnation in fitness.
If you want the most out of your legs, your work productivity, personal relationships, fun with friends then you must make down-time a daily priority.
- Sleep is one of the most powerful forms of recovery
- Meditate for 5 minutes twice a day
- Turn all electronics off for 30-60′ a day (don’t worry, facebook will still be there when you get back…..)
- Go for a short walk
- Take a nap
- Read a book
- Chat with a friend on the phone
Recovery is the most important part of training!