Rest and recovery is often the most abused aspect of training. As intensity and duration of training increase so must rest. This includes adequate sleep to allow the release of growth hormones to repair tissue damage from the day’s training stress and it also involves active recovery days built into the training plan. Here’s how it works –
Today it’s about recovery
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Progressive overload (training stress) is needed to improve fitness. Training builds fitness by tearing down the body, but here’s the caveat – only when the proper amount of stress is applied followed by rest and recovery. Theoretically there is a threshold (level of stress) for our cells to become stronger and more efficient. Too much stress, applied too soon, without adequate rest and the cell is considerably weakened and struggles for days and sometimes weeks to recover. Strenuous workouts followed by sufficient rest leads to what is called overcompensation, which allows the body to gain fitness. Thus the importance of a thoughtful and progressive training plan that includes the right dose of overload and recovery is critical to achieve the desired goals.
Today was a wonderful easy 18 mile spin on my bike for active recovery. And yes, fall is in the air here in Tucson! So get out there and enjoy it!