Many of our training courses will continue for 2 or more months. Depending on your starting fitness level and the intensity of the work you are doing regularly, you may be able to work like that for 3 to 6 weeks before you may feel fatigue accumulating. It is quite possible that for other reasons you will need to set aside some days for recovery sooner than your training plan has scheduled for you, and that is OK.
With consideration to many factors in your life and in the demands you have upon your body, it is recommend that you insert a rest period after every 4 to 6 weeks of deliberate, organized training. Some systems of your body and mind may feel just fine, but others may be more fatigued that you realize and some rest would help them recover.
A recovery period does not mean ‘Do Nothing’. Rather, it means you should:
- Stay moving, but…
- Lower the total volume of training (lower the number of meters)
- Lower the average intensity of your physical activity – take it easier on the joints, tissues and metabolic system
- Use the body and mind in different but complementary ways to your main sport – let the body solve different kinds of puzzles
- Make the activities of this week as enjoyable as possible.
- Continue to eat the best nutritious foods and drink lots of water
- Continue to get abundant, quality sleep (this is a MAJOR influence on recovery)
The degree to which you follow these recommendations depends on how much rest you may need. It is quite personal consideration.
One way to measure how effective your rest week has been is to notice how eager you feel all over to return to your deliberate practice of swimming or running. If you’ve rested well, you should feel eager and you should feel strong. If you don’t feel eager, then consider how you might need more rest or how you might need to alter your manner of training to make it more inviting.