Friday, June 3, 2011

Weekly Training Tip - Don't Forget to Rest!

Most triathletes are typically pretty motivated people.  If not, it would be pretty tough to fake your way through a triathlon.  More often then not, triathletes feel like they are never doing enough training and are always looking for some extra time to squeeze in that bonus workout, because it's going to make all the difference in the world.  And that's fine, as long as your body is not telling you otherwise.

A lot of people forget that rest is the fifth discipline of triathlons (swim, bike, run, nutrition, and rest).  During the workouts is not when you get stronger, or faster.  During the workouts is when you breakdown your muscles, hopefully not too much.  It is when you are resting that your muscles and nervous system get a chance to recover stronger than they were before.  If you never rest, you'll never improve.

So how do you know when you need to rest?  All you have to do is pay attention to your body.  If you are having a hard time waking up, or your heart rate is higher than normal when you first wake up, or you are excessively sore, chances are that you need to rest a little bit more.  There are times when you don't actually need to rest, and you just need to get your butt moving.  But chances are, if you are feeling a little beat up, you need to rest.

By resting, not only do you allow your body a chance to recover, and therefor improve.  But you also allow yourself to get a mental break.  Take a complete day off and don't even think about training!

A common training principle is to build for three weeks and then take an easy week of training.  This is a pretty good way to build in rest to make sure that you take it, but sometimes you need it more than this.  The key is to not feel bad if you miss a workout.  Missing a couple workouts will not make or break your race.  Now, if you miss a couple workouts every week, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate your training plan.

With that said, take a day to relax!

Sorry, this video doesn't have much to do with relaxing (other than it being one lazy way to do the hammer throw).  It's just funny.

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