75/75 Part 4 Recovery

A recovery routine for 75% of people for 75% of the time.

Hi Folks

75/75 Part 4: Recovery

Arguably recovery is the most neglected part of most athletes’ training routine yet is just as important as training and nutrition. Building adequate recovery time into your training schedule will help you meet your performance goals faster and help reduce your risk of injury.

So what do we mean by recovery time? Recovery time is when we stop our bout of exercise or training and return to a recovered state. These rest periods are categorised into two types: short-term and long-term recovery.

Short-term recovery refers to the time directly after exercise and is the most common form of recovery that happens within hours of an exercise, training session or finishing a competition. Whereas long-term recovery refers to longer periods of time, including days or even weeks built into a heavy seasonal training programme (periodisation plan).

Both short and long-term recovery can be broken down further into active recovery and inactive recovery. Active recovery involves light, low-intensity exercise in order to aid muscle repair and promote blood flow to allow nutrients and oxygen into the muscles and help remove toxins and activity by-products. Inactive recovery means just that, resting, doing nothing. It is often only reserved for when athletes are injured but should be an important part of any training schedule. The frequency of these recovery days depends upon the frequency and intensity of your exercise programme. Sleep is often overlooked but it enhances growth, muscle recovery and aids physical performance.

So as a guide if you are completing light cardio like walking, slow dancing or gentle swimming you probably won’t need rest days. However the more intense the activity becomes the more rest days you will need to take.

If you enjoy weight training it is ideal to use a ‘split routine’ so that you rotate the muscles worked each day to allow two days of recovery on each particular muscle group ie 1. Legs and shoulders 2. Back and biceps 3. Chest and triceps.

And runners as a guide you only want an all-out effort once a week. Try and involve some gentle active recovery runs, hill work or some other running or non-running  cross training.

And don’t forget, have fun!!