Recover, repair, come back stronger….

Words of wisdom post Tri-season from Jonathan Watkins, Endurance athlete and Specialist rehab physio at Six Physio Leadenhall

‘With the Tri season over for 2019 its your time to repair, recover and prepare to come back stronger than ever next season.’

Our advice… First off have some rest, you deserve it! 

Give yourself 1-2 weeks of complete rest after your last event, try not over stressing your body and mind. This will allow time for your body to heal and repair.

Following this… a period of 6-8 weeks of unplanned exercise should be your priority. Play football or ultimate frisbee, tennis, go cycling for the fun of it (no power meters or heart rate monitors), swim with no set goal, run easy trails and walk, enjoy the scenery and chat with friends over extended pub lunches.

During this time… it’s ideal to look for a training plan and events which will meet your 2020 progressions and goals. Think about what you want to achieve, planning for it will mean you succeed!

Training plans range from 12-24 weeks, culminating in a peak for your final distance. Here is a link for some motivation

Allow yourself time before you begin a structured plan, start to build up your tolerance of each discipline over a 4-week period with easy sessions up to an hour or more of each.

With a training plan start date set and your goals in mind, you should now feel ready and recovered enough to come back stronger. But have you thought of incorporating strength training into your program? Research shows that strength training at least 2 days per week during the off season, dropping this to 1 day per week during your competition phase, allows a plethora of gains in athletes:

  • Able to cycle to exhaustion at 80% of V02 max by an extra 10 minutes.
  • Significantly improve 5k running time.
  • Increase muscle and tension tolerance which will decrease risk of injury.
  • Improved running economy which can contribute to a 20% improvement in time to exhaustion at maximum aerobic threshold. Meaning you can run for longer and more efficiently!!!
  • No loss of stride length late in an intense run- upholding your distance for time!
  • Increase lactate threshold by 12%- meaning that muscle burn comes much later on!

Remember, no athlete is able to maintain a year-round peak level of performance therefore periodisation of training must be adhered to. This means athletes will have periods of harder training and periods of relaxation and recovery during a years’ season/competition. No one is running full steam all the time.

When we try to train too much we run the risk of increased levels of fatigue exposing us to developing over training syndrome. Which can mean picking up niggly injuries or just not performing at our best!

Failing to plan, means planning to fail.

So go set your sights high and put the science of the sport into practice.  Good luck for 2020!!

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