Recovery & Racing

Hannah has posed today’s Coaches Corner question. She wanted to know about training & racing and how much rest & when.

Why rest?
Rest allows the body to repair muscle cells that have been stressed during exercise. The body needs time to adapt to the demands placed upon it during prolonged periods of training. If the body is not given regular periods of reduced intensity, then it will become fatigued and weak. This will then naturally effect the body’s ability to train and perform.

Winter / pre season
Demanding on the level of fitness having one pure rest day a week or even a day of low level volume / intensity such as swim technique or recover run will be sufficient to allow the muscles to repair. Most training programs will then have a complete week or reduced volume / intensity to provide the body with a longer period to repair. NB: it’s not uncommon during an easy week to feel heavy in the legs, weak or powerless. This is simply the body repairing and therefore the percentage of working muscles is lower as some are ‘off duty’ being repaired.

Leading into a key race it is advisable to have a taper week. This is simply a week which reduces in volume towards the event BUT remains to have high levels of intensity to ensure that the working muscle & body are ready. Knowing your taper will also provide you with confidence ahead of that all important event.

Post race
The following day should be a low level day with a recovery run, swim or bike to help flush out any remaining waste products still remaining in the working muscles. 20-30mins should be sufficient