by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams
Love our WOD’s? If you aren’t getting them delivered to you sign up here: www.spartanrace.com/wod. We love the daily WOD’s too and they go a long way in preparing you for Spartan Race days. There is another component, recovery and rest, that we want to address.
Recovery and rest days vary based on your level of activity, your upcoming races, and timing of the races. Overtraining is an issue but so is under-recovering.
Regardless of your level of fitness, make sure you are doing a few things:
1. Drink plenty of water. 3 liters a day is a good rule of thumb.
2. Stretch frequently and invest in a foam roller for helping work lactic acid out of your muscles immediately following exercise and anytime you feel tightness in your muscles.
3. Eat well. Nutrition is key component to your training.
Traditional “rest” days aren’t always absolutely necessary. In fact, some light cross-training is becoming far more beneficial for your body than true rest is some scenarios. For example, if you are a runner, sometimes easing into a effortless swim or bike ride around the town might help heal your body than complete rest.
And sometimes you better barricade yourself in bed with those child-railing-things that keep you from falling on your floor as a kid. True rest has it’s place. Know your body. The choice is always yours and should be based on how your body feels and your experiences with recovery and rest.
If your are new to the training game, you’ll want to defer to rest days until you know your recovery threshold. But a brisk walk on rest days can be invigorating and always take the time on those days to get in a good long stretch.
For those of you who have been hard training for a while, you have a handle on recovery, but regardless of how superhuman, Sylvester-Stallone-ish you are feeling all the time, you need to have a day where you MUST turn the fitness switch and slow it down.
Here is why that’s important:
If you kill yourself for 3 weeks straight you are getting diminishingly strong as you wear your body down. You’re slowly crashing your system.
You DO get bad-ass strong as your heal and recover from bad-ass training. Then repeat process over and over again. This is why training is call ‘adaptive’. And why we call it the training cycle. Also, Burnout is a serious issue as is over training. As is injury and constant fatigue syndrome.
Best defense to get better and stronger is to rest now and again. You think this would be easy enough but most people burn out and over train. They develop injuries and illnesses.
So, what to do?
Avoid the drama. Give yourself permission 1 day a week to let the lactic drain and your mood improve. And REALLY give yourself permission. No griping to workout comrades about feeling guilty about ‘not training today’. Drop the pretentions and heal.
Tags: recovery days, rest days, spartan race