SCIENCE TALK: recovery enough?

Are you training often? Are your timing your training to be beneficial?

We all know people who train twice a day, or maybe you do that too. Most of the people train once a day or less, but at some point of development, two exercises a day are necessary when levels and goals are increasing. Recovery plays a huge role when training amount or intensity are increased. This is not only considering those who are training twice a day, but also those who train a few times a week.

It easy to build a training program and forget the recovery program.

There are several mechanisms which reduce strength after a workout; local muscular fatigue, muscle damage and central nervous system (CNS) fatigue. These systems’ recovery plays the key role, is the next workout beneficial or not. Lack of recovery increases the risk of impaired adaptations. And who wants to train hours without proper benefit. Chris Beardley’s graph below explains simply what happens after a workout and where different fatigue mechanisms’ take effect.

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What can happen if you don’t give your body enough time to recover? Risk of injury increase, performance decrease, development decrease, alertness decrease, sleep quality can decrease, etc.

It’s all about the balance of loading and capacity to load.

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Factors of loading side effect to a capacity of load side and vice versa. Poor training program structure can affect to sleep, nutrition intake and absorption. Strength and conditioning can affect training loads. If something is mistreated the balance is disturbed and recovery suffer.

How to know when is the right time for the next workout? When you feel good, is a common guide, but it’s not necessarily relevant to follow. As we can see above it’s difficult to tell when our body is recovered enough, as we can’t always feel muscle damages or even any training pain in our body. Depending on the intensity of training, the full recovery can take days. Training twice a day doesn’t mean two high-intensity workouts in a row. One can be high intensity in the morning and other active recovery or the low intensity in the evening. Sometimes people do two high-intensity workouts on the same day to accustom the body to harsh condition or simulates it race day condition. But it’s always important to take the next day easy.

It’s again load vs capacity to load. Rhythms of high-intensity, low-intensity workouts and rest. Monitoring heart rate is one good indicator if your heart rate is faster than it normally is, you are not probably fully recovered. Remember that temperature, rest and other external and internal factors affect heart rate.

The big question for runners? When I’m able to work out next time after a marathon?

That depends on how you feel and how your marathon went. Some people are good to run the next day some don’t. Recovery time is often somewhere around two weeks. That doesn’t mean two weeks eating junk bottom of the coach. Eating healthy help recovery, and decrease possibility get post marathon flu. Movement helps recovery, you are free to run as soon as you feel like it. But keep your workouts light! Easy jogging or walk. Lightweights training after a few days post marathon. Even though your spirit might be high and you feel good, your muscle tissues and nervous system are not recovered. High-intensity training too soon only do more damage and in the long run, can lead to serious over-training symptoms, under-recovery, increase injury risk and decrease performance.

If an elite athlete gives their body time to recover, you should do. Be smart.

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