Rest is crucial, both amateurs and professionals alike can easily fall into the trappings of pushing too hard in every training session and allowing the body little time to compensate through the required adaptations possible during recovery.
Wanting to be at your very best throughout the year is a common goal, but realistically it is never going to happen, as we all need to factor in periods of rest and recovery in order to truly reach our potential when it matters most; such as when racing or tackling an epic ride.
Pushing hard whenever you train will only serve to tear down your body, limit progress, blunt performance and likely lead to injury or illness if prolonged.
Blackzone Coaching utilises both power and heart rate data to help in the monitoring of fatigue or potential over-training, such as the inability to produce requisite power at previous intensities or the drifting of heart rate zones due to tiredness.
Here are some of the key pillars to build a successful rest and recovery programme into your training schedule:
Perhaps easiest of all is to structure your easy training and days off clearly, be it in a simple diary or through tracking software. Thanks to utilising the planning feature of Trainingpeaks, Blackzone Coaching offers precisely this, continually tailoring your plan in response to the fatigue measured. This makes it far more likely that you will stick to the designated periods of rest outlined, providing a clear structure to plan your days spent training around, which will also allow you to better understand your body and how it reacts to training load too.
Though fuelling for activity is a blog in its own right, recovery also means supplying your body with the building blocks it requires to repair and rebuild ahead of your next session. Immediately following a workout, it is common knowledge that carbohydrates are key to refuel yourself, while protein and amino acids will contribute to muscle synthesis.
However, when it comes to easy days training or a rest day entirely, this means adapting your intake as required. Perhaps lessening your carbohydrate intake to an extent, taking on plenty of nutrient rich vegetables instead and looking to consume lean sources of protein to further improve your recovery; a healthy diet is key no matter what your goal.
Banking enough hours can be difficult for a great number of reasons, be it the common 40+ hour working week nowadays, to family responsibilities; gaining 7 – 9 hours of sleep is tough in itself. You should seek to plan your hardest sessions around days when you are most confident of getting sufficient rest (avoiding physical exertion) or when you know a longer sleeping time is possible.
If all of the above has you struggling to find the headspace to even try and balance it all successfully, look at hiring a coach to oversee all of your training, as well as recovery.
Blackzone Coaching ensures that all your training is informed by the rest required to make the most of your efforts when working hard. Enquire today by clicking here.