Recovery is just as important as the key training sessions. Specific session recovery is different from a planned recovery week. The GPC coaches will prescribe recovery weeks approx. every 3 weeks in your training cycle, but this will be very much dependent on the fatigue felt by each athlete as a result of the current volume of training & proximity to the next goal race.
A recovery week is different to a taper week. Taper is the week prior to a goal race & is designed to keep your body fresh through a reduction in overall volume but maintains elements of intensity. A recovery week is programmed into a larger block of training and designed to recover your body before the next block of training.
This recovery week will not only rest your muscle but also your nervous system, as it is your brain, which controls the action of your muscles. If an athlete skips recovery week because they are “feeling good” then there is an increased risk of injury or over training.
You may think that a recovery week is complete rest, whereas it actual means decreasing training volume but still maintaining activity via active recovery. Active recovery is more aerobic-based (lower intensity) and should focus on completing the same skills you do through the normal training week.
The length of the recovery period will again be individual and will be dependent on the athlete’s age, fitness level, experience & type of training they have been completing.
A typical recovery week may consist of a series of easier days of training including one or two days off training completely, followed by a test or time trial session.
Your focus in recovery week should be:
- Complete all prescribed sessions & don’t have the entire week off training
- Getting some more sleep
- Spending time away from training with family/friends etc.
- Eating clean to avoid unwanted weight-gain
- Resting between work, family & training commitments
- Get treatment such as a massage
- “If you work harder you need to rest harder” Wayne Goldsmith