Recovery phase? Pardon? You want me to rest and chill out? Yeaaaahhhh, my weak spot sometimes is resting. I certainly do not want to take 2 weeks off when I have trained so hard for the previous 6 months. It is easy to get caught up in the old school mentality of train hard- ALL THE TIME!
In reality the recovery phases is just as important as the intense intervals. The recovery phase is one component of the training philosophy of periodization, which categorizes training into several different phases. Usually this model contains 4 phases constructed to achieve a peak phase around the major athletic competitions. However, to maintain continuous peaks from year to year, the recovery phases has just as equal importance as all other phases. The body simply needs to heal from the previous months of diligent and intense training.
As previously mentioned- I struggle with resting. Even though clearly untrue, I fear loosing the hard work I’ve accomplished, despite how my fears contradict current research. To my advantage I was forced to escape the perils of over training by helping a colleague lead a group of students on a service trip in Costa Rica. We spent 2 weeks participating in turtle conservation. This included just enough physical labour to keep my body awake, but not even close enough to a regimented training regime. Due to high temps and high humidity in the afternoons, we were forced to refrain from work and relax. I pretty much had to hang out and read or wade in the ocean for a few hours daily. Our residence does not have electricity, so once it was dark, again- relaxation and friendship building was a main priority. My regular schedule in Costa Rica laced in stress and high demands- just what the doctor ordered. Just as much as my body needed a break from physical training, my mind & soul benefited greatly from the forced R&R.
These past few weeks have given me the chance to reflect on my own life, and recognize how I should integrate a bit more of the Costa Rican “PURA VIDA” mentality into my lifestyle back in Canada. This week, back in Calgary, without the care of 17 teenagers in a foreign country, I am going to take some well deserved vegging out time in the comfort of my own home 🙂