Smart Athletes Know How To Rest!
Endurance training can involve various routines and practices. One major component of this kind of training is the building of muscles. An ambitious athlete will incrementally increase the intensity of workouts, and this will strain the muscles. Muscles need time to recover, preferably 24-48 hours in between work out sessions (Steve 2015). Recovery may not be the same for everyone, so don’t worry if it takes a little longer at first. This is due to a little substance that is formed from glucose called lactic acid. The build of lactic acid is meant to be converted into energy for muscle. However, if you are overworking your body, and not adequately resting, you will reach your lactic acid threshold and decrease the motor ability of your muscles (Quinn 2017).
So now that you know this, you are probably wondering what the heck you are supposed to be doing on the days you aren’t working out? The answer to that question is…live life! Go for a nice walk on a nature trail, maybe get up early the next morning and do some quality yoga. If you have a pet, go for a light jog. The idea is to keep active without being overly strenuous (Steve 2015). A smart athlete will incrementally train to build up their lactic acid threshold. Remember, lactic acid is not your enemy. If we handle it with care, and adequately rest, it can be an your best friend (Quinn 2017).
Well, this may be the not so fun part for some, but it is absolutely necessary. I know you are working hard in your training programs, but that hard work only accounts for 10-20% of you’re your healthy, ambitious athletic lifestyles. The remaining 80-90% of this lifestyle is healthy eating (Steve 2015). It is not just about the calories, but also what you are eating that determines the extent to which you are equipped to handle your athletic lifestyle. Every day, especially on off days, feed your body with good quality foods that support a balanced diet. Be creative with your meals, drink lots of water, and plan for cheat days. All work and no play doesn’t spell fun by a long shot!
Quinn, E. (2017). What’s the Role of Lactic Acid When It Comes to Athletic Performance? Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.verywell.com/lactic-acid-and-performance-3119185
Steve. (2015, August 04). What Should I Do On My Off Days? Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/what-should-i-do-on-my-off-days/