Recovery: How And Why You Need To Include This In Your Training!
By Steve Fluet for on Fri, Apr 12th 2002 (9:05 AM).

There are three types of recovery that you incorporate in your training which allow you to move to the next level of fitness.

As an athlete it is not so much the hard work you complete, but the recovery that follows the hard work, that is responsible for starting the regeneration process and really providing some benefits.
1. Active: This is what you would do for recovery in between speed sets that allow your lactate levels to drop so you can start the next repetition. This would also be the cool down phase as well to prepare the body for the next training session.

2. Passive: This is total rest with no exercise what so ever. This is time spent relaxing, sleeping extra, or lounging on the couch. Ideally 1-2 of these days every 2 weeks depending on your age and how you are recovering (check the a.m. heartrate).

3. Comprehensive: This is scheduled training that takes place during the week that allows the body to return back to normal at a faster rate. It is very low intensity with non-weight bearing exercise. Hr increases some, blood flow increases to help bathe the muscles and bring important nutrients to them, but allows you to not tap into your energy stores. This low impact training should be biking, swimming or some other type of non-weight bearing exercise. Running is out totally as a recovery exercise.

The training should be 30-60 minutes maximum. Complete the recovery exercise early a.m. or later in the day. If you are biking- use a very low gear and stay on the flats. You can also complete deep-water running, rowing on an ergometer, or an easy swim. When completing a recovery exercise session consume 200-300 calories of a recovery drink or some other type of sports drink so that you are getting in calories while you are completing the workout. This allows the nutrients to be absorbed so the glycogen stores can be replenished. Never complete any recovery exercise on an empty stomach. You can also consider a 30-40 minute session in the a.m. and one later in the day. This aspect of training is so very important for us to build ourselves up without breaking down.

Ideal training days are usually Monday and/or Friday. Many athletes who do insert active recovery days usually end up training fast on these easy days. Ideally train alone when completing a recovery day. This way you will keep the intensity very low and allow the recovery process to complete its work.

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