Recovery

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Mar2009 30

Why is recovery so important?

The recovery process is when you are actually getting the benefits of exercise. When you are training you are actually breaking your body down. Your body then repairs itself to its previous level then a little beyond to better handle the stress of training the next time. But your body can only repair itself so much over a given amount of time (Imagine running a marathon every day. You’d be too tired from the day before to do it again.)

When the volume of training exceeds its recuperative abilities, it is put into a state known as overtraining. This is poison to fitness gains. Basically you are breaking down, but never building back up.

Let’s say your workout breaks you down to -3. You heal +2 then train again. You are still at –1, less than your original workout. Then you do it again and again and again. It doesn’t take long to dig yourself into a hole. The idea behind training is to break down –2 and heal back +3, putting you at +1, again and again and again. This is how you get fit over time.

What are some symptoms of overtraining?

· Mild leg soreness, general achiness.
· Pain in muscles & joints.
· Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy.
· Sudden drop in ability to run ‘normal’ distance or times.
· Insomnia.
· Headaches.
· Inability to relax, twitchy, fidgety.
· Insatiable thirst, dehydration.
· Lowered resistance to common illnesses; colds, sore throat, etc.

If you are experiencing any number of these symptoms for any length of time I would suggest reducing your training volume or taking a break altogether. In fact it is a good idea to take a week or so off every couple of months to allow your joints, connective tissues, and mind a chance to rest. By that time, you’ve earned it.

Good Luck!

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