Recovering right and days off

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I used to think that an off day or a recovery day were a waste of time, that I needed to GO GO GO all the time. With this season being my 4th triathlon seasons I’ve learned from coaches, books, my courses during my triathlon level 1 certification, and mostly trials and error that proper recovery is as important as a well-executed session. Your endurance training cannot exist as a stand-alone entity.  It has to be supported by adequate recovery, proper nutrition and a smart functional strength program.

 

Recovery: The body’s physiological process to compensate for the demands of a progressive training load.  Physiological adaptation (e.g. metabolic rest & rebuilding) of the body takes time and must be structured in order to elicit the changes that will optimize athletic performance.

So, while I could go in the chemical reaction and physiological aspect related to recovery like supercompensation, adrenal exhaustion and more here’s a few tips that I’ve learned along the way and I hope can help.The goal is that you recover properly to maximize your training, avoid overtraining and figure understand the different cues that your body is telling you daily.

 

First off, here are a few things that you should be putting even more emphasis on during recovery or days off

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

First things first, no one knows your body as well as you do. When rest day comes around, take some time in the morning to assess how you feel. What is your body telling you that you need to recover? It could be more sleep, light exercise, certain foods or a combination of all of these.

GET ADEQUATE SLEEP

Mental and physical rest is equally important when letting your body recover. The average person needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but athletes in training may need more. Personally, I would get 10hrs of sleep every night if I could!!

WATER, WATER, WATER,

Athletes know how important it is to hydrate during and after a workout, but that mentality should carry over into off days as well. (Coconut Water is prefect as a recovery drink, smoothies makes great post-workout meals and can be packed with full of nutrients)

EAT RIGHT

Personally I’m even more hungry during my days off than during training days. It can be tricky not to feel guilty has you are no exercising much, but it’s important to once again listen to your body and fuel properly and enough on days off.

STAY ACTIVE or DO NOTHING

Rest day is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of low impact workouts Or simply take a walk.

STRETCH OR FOAM ROLL

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I know I’m guilty of this, I don’t do it enough. I know I should be doing it much more, but do as I say not as I do! Taking a few minutes to stretch daily can greatly improve flexibility, may help alleviate tight muscles and speed recovery. I’ve been liking my R8 Roll Recovery because it’s a hand-held foam roller and I don’t have to get off the couch or the bed, so I really have no excuse. Find what works for you!

 

So remember that you should be doing this on rest days, but also every day, and days off should be planned in your schedule, and not be taken when you are already over trained. 

Stephanie Doyon