Returning to Training after a Break
According to Aristotle and Obree
For some athletes the festive holiday period and some time off work may be the ideal opportunity to get out and train. For most however, and particularly those in the Northern Hemisphere, it may be a period of reduced training. Family commitments, potential bad weather and an innate desire to sit on the sofa usually take priority. So this might be a good time to give your body a good chance to heal and start rebuilding itself after a long season. To quote Graeme Obree “Training is bad for you! Training followed by rest and proper nutrition is good for and will make you better prepared for the event you are training for.” Remember that’s proper nutrition! So rather than fight it why not plan for this to be your down time and give something back to those who support you during your times when you are building to your A Race.
So what will happen to you during this down period and how should you come back after either this or any training break? Firstly you may put on some weight; this is entirely normal. This can be a combination of those Christmas dinners or your body returning to a more natural weight if you have shed pounds to get down to a racing weight. However over any down time the more you control the gain – the less you have to lose. Unless you have a very specific Winter race however, this period is not the time to lose weight and risk loss of training due to down time brought on by a reduced immunity. Try therefore to keep a constant healthy weight over this period. If in doubt then just try to eliminate processed foods, get your energy from fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein and limit sugary food intake.
Dependent on how long this or any down period is you may lose some aerobic fitness. If it’s a few days off then you have nothing to worry about – so don’t. If it is a few weeks then don’t panic – you will bounce back and any speed and strength loss will only be temporary.
After a short period of unstructured training begin to place the emphasis on training frequency. This frequency, or consistency, is what ultimately will bring you performance success. I’m not sure if Aristotle was an endurance athlete but he is quoted as saying “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” This consistent habit of stimulating your aerobic system and building your strength base whilst maintaining any skill base should be your short – term goals.
Whether you trained or had some down time we at Kinetic Revolution hope had a great time over the holidays and look forward to helping you get on track and reach your goals in 2012.
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