The training year has already progressed quite far. Major competitions were completed or are imminent in the upcoming weeks. As training intensifies and competitions become more frequent, the total strain on the body increases. Therefore, recovery from a workout or race is an important factor in your training.
When planning your training, don’t just discuss the proper training load, plan the recovery. This regeneration or recovery is typically forgotten, yet it is an important factor in performance improvement.
Photo Caption: Significant time should be devoted to rest and recovery after the stress of competition.
A well planned training schedule causes the body to be in a constant state of dismantling and rebuilding. The cells involved in the development of broken down muscles and organs are stimulated by hormonal regulation to aid in the reconstruction. Through training, there must be a balance between catabolic (degradative) and anabolic (building) processes, because it’s only during the recovery anabolic phase where adaptations such as the development of muscle mass and the strengthening of tendons and ligaments is set in motion.Yet, it is important to note that not all adjustment processes take the same amount of time. It is also important that the next training session not be set too early, when these adjustment processes are not yet completed. The result of too early or too intense of a training session is an overtaxing of the body, whereby instead of a performance improvement there can be a stagnation or even a decrease in performance. These same negative results can also surface when the interval between two tougher workouts is too long. So, a good balance must be found – listen to your body – it will typically tell you.
When we workout, our body is stressed and we exhaust our glycogen stores. Thus, our performance is effectively reduced. After we complete the training, the regeneration phase begins and our bodies recover and build themselves back slightly above the initial level. This process is called super compensation, and, in theory, our performance has now improved. This break it down, build it back up process is such that performance improvement is continuously increasing. However, if the next training stimulus is too early or too late, no improvement will be seen, or worse yet, a performance downgrade may be seen.
How long the recovery phase for each individual will take is very personal and depends on various factors such as the intensity level of the workout, the individual’s level of fitness, age, recovery ability and a number of other factors. Again, what your body is telling you will be the best source of advice for you!
The table below shows approximate times until complete regeneration for some of the adaptation processes. This means that during this recovery phase no new training of the same stimuli should occur. However, this does not mean that training stimuli in another area is not possible. For example, after a super hard day of running intervals, a long easy bike ride or swim might be just what the doctor ordered.
When to do the next training and what to do depends both on the rapid recovery capability, and the training stimulus. Complex planning for optimal performance development is not always easy, but running.COACH takes this task and handles it for you. running.COACH not only prescribes the correct intensity and duration of the workouts, but the right timing and correct order of workouts is also set for you. The correct recovery time is almost guaranteed, but if you’re feeling too tired, you can adjust the training schedule manually.
This blog was created by Beat Zimmermann, PE teacher and on the sports science staff of the Sports Medicine Center Bern-Ittigen.