Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

Mastering the Art of an Active Recovery

Post by:  Veronica
5/1/11

Jake and I have been in full-swing triathlon training for about eight weeks.  That’s two full months of swimming, running, biking and core weight training in some combination 6-7 days a week—except for the two active recover weeks we’ve had—or supposed to have had…

Technically, we’ve cheated.  Not in the way that seems logical—we’re not cheating ourselves by skipping workouts.  Actually, we’re cheating ourselves by adding extra workouts (hitting the pool or going for a bike ride on days off) and failing to give our bodies (not to mention minds and emotions) a break.

Why would the extra workouts be bad?  Isn’t the old mantra—practice makes perfect?  Actually, I’ve always preferred the revised version—perfect practice makes perfect.  Something that is hard to come by when your body and mind are exhausted.

The underlining fact is:  when I take advantage of rest days or recovery weeks, my mind and body is ready to push harder in the more intense days or weeks of workouts.

An active recovery is an important component to any training regimen, because it:

–Boosts the body’s ability to perform during key workouts

–Allows the body to replenish its energy and nutrient levels

–Allows the body to repair damaged muscles and tissues

–Allows the mind to rest (an equally important component to physical recovery) and gets the athlete ‘out of their head’ if their mental energy has gotten in the way of optimal physical performance

When I had the idea to write this post, the active recover week hadn’t yet began.  But I wouldn’t let myself write this article until I’d actually done what I wanted to preach.  There will be no pot calling the kettle black!

So here I am, at the end of my active recovery week—mentally and physically rested and ready to tackle the competitive phase of my triathlon training.  Yes, I followed the recover week workouts, dropping my time and intensity.  My legs (which needed a rest after a 7 mile run last weekend) feel great and I’m ready to push myself harder in this next week’s tough swim and brick workouts.

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” –Ashleigh Brilliant

I found these articles on Active Recovery to be interesting/helpful:

http://trainforeverydaylife.blogspot.com/2011/03/importance-of-rest.html

http://www.strengthspeedagility.com/sport-and-exercise-muscle-recovery

http://www.bodyresults.com/e2activerecovery.asp

 

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Posted in Adventure Sports and Life.

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