This week I’ve been trying really hard to convince myself that the break I’m taking from running is ok. You see my hamstrings and my piriformis muscles have been really tight, and almost painful – I can tell that they’re on the verge of injury if I don’t “baby” them. So I’ve been doing some less “strenuous” workouts like spinning, yogafit, bodypump and sitting around the pool:
That said, my hubby asked me why I don’t just take a whole week off.
What? A WHOLE WEEK off? Whatchu talking about Willis?
So now my brian is in overdrive thinking about rest/recovery/transition and how much time I should take off after this past competitive cycle. So I asked on twitter how much time YOU take off:
@fitcheerldr After marathons, 1 week off no exercise, 1 week only x-training, and then I start running again at the 2 week mark.
— Mary Baum (@marybaum20) June 14, 2012
@fitcheerldr Its different for EVERY person, depends how the race went and your personal recovery time 🙂
— Coach Christina(@MamacitaTri) June 14, 2012
@fitcheerldr 5-10 km: 1 day; 1/2 marathon: 1 or 2 days; full: 4 to 5 days
— charles mandel (@subthreerunning) June 14, 2012
@fitcheerldr one. But every 3-6 months I take an entire week off to rest and regroup.
— Lindsey Shepherd (@simplyshep) June 14, 2012
Truthfully rest is OK.
I have to admit that this is something that I have to tell myself constantly – are you like that too?
When I was doing my undergrad in Kinesiology I took a course called “Theory and Methodology of Training“. My professor was none other than Tudor Bompa, who is considered in the exercise science world to be the father of periodization. Now back then I gotta admit that I took that class because we all considered it a “bird” course, but now I’m realising the value of it.
There were three key principals that we learned in that course:
- Speed also known as power (which is the primary focus in most running sports), comes from a combo of endurance and strength. A good training plan (macrocycle) contains different phases called microcycles designed to increase endurance, strength, and power. (I’ve talked about this before in my post: how to lose the mufintop in 3 weeks in which I discuss using periodization techniques to progressively improve and keep burning fat).
- Improvement in sport performance, whether it be gains in endurance, strength or power, comes from allowing the body enough time to recover and rebuild from the hard demands that you place on it.
- A good training plan concludes with a TRANSITION phase:
The transition phase is used to facilitate psychological rest, relaxation and biological regeneration as well as to maintain an acceptable level of general physical preparation. This phase lasts between 3 ” 4 weeks (maybe longer) but should not exceed 5 weeks under normal conditions.It allows the body to fully regenerate so that it is prepared for the next discipline.
Wait a minute… Transition phase? How many of us include a transition phase into our training plans?
Many of us take a week or so to recover from a race, but not many of us take more than that. As you can see from my poll, we aren’t allowing ourselves enough time to prepare psychologically and to fully regenerate before we enter another training plan.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, my husband is actually right. (Wasn’t Willis often right?).
As I wrote on Tuesday, I’m registered for the triathlon in September. It’s not only ok to take a break and enjoy life, but it’s actually beneficial and will help me to really KILL that race. I don’t need to rush right back into a training plan, and since I’ve pretty much taken this whole week off, I’m going to continue my transition WITHOUT GUILT for the next 2 weeks and then get back on the horse.
How much transition time do you allow yourself? Do you break your racing up into two or three competitive season?