A Note To My Athletes On Recovery

Below is a note that I sent my athletes today.  I thought you could all benefit.

Recovery - 

As driven individuals, it's easy for us to all focus intensely on getting every single training session done.

"Did I hit the watts? Did I run fast enough? Did I go long enough?

The above are all things that I hear or have thought, more than one time.  While it's important to push hard, focus on the intervals, etc during your "key" training sessions, it's just as important to be as focused on your recovery.

An analogy that works well for people is to view a key workout as Point A and view your next key workout as Point B. The objective for you as an athlete, MOST of the time, it recover as well as you can between those training sessions.  If you arrive at Point B with more stress and fatigue than you are suppose to have, your session will either not go well, or you will see the effects down the road during subsequent key workouts.

I believe that you should view your key workouts as your focus sessions and then make sure that you enjoy the in-between.  A run or rides to/from a coffee shop is a perfect example.  Social runs are another example.  With sessions like these, the focus is on actively recovering. 

This also means that if you have a recovery day with 15 other things to get done and a training session is only going to add stress to your life. You are likely better off skipping it.  This is hard sometimes for type A personalities, but if you can remember that you ONLY get faster if you are recovering and absorbing the sessions, you may just switch your focus.  This also adds value to the quote, "it's better to be 15% undertrained, than 5% overtrained."

Beating Training Sessions - 

I see it a ALL the time.  I give intervals at 7:00 - 7:20 per mile and see the athlete go 6:57 and then 6:45 on the next, when they feel good. 

It's important to remember that faster is not better in the training picture.  Each week and in each training block, we have different focuses.  It might be in zone 2 and zone 3. If you decide that it feels to easy and you do everything in zone 4, you have neglected a key component to your training (especially because I find athletes who do this, do it chronically) and we cause you to underperform on race day.

The point that I am trying to make is that the interval/zone you have within your training is there for a purpose and going harder will mean that you no longer accomplish that purpose.

Lastly, this relates to the first topic of recovery.  Going harder on a consistent basis, will disallow your body to recover. Which means injury, sickness and the dreaded under performance.

So remember that it's about working hard, but it's also about recovering harder.  It's about taking it easy on the days in between your key days and it's about knowing that your training is there for a purpose, to accomplish a specific goal that will contribute to race day success and consistency within your training.

It's going to be a great season for everyone. Have a great day!



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