TAKE YOUR TIME
Avoid coming back too quickly, says Pete Wilby
Coming back too fast is sure to result in injury and pain. Take this advice to ease you into training.
Over the summer season we all find it noticeably more pleasant to be out training. The excitement of upcoming triathlons keeps us on your toes and we’re itching to get out and get fit. Winter heralds the start of the next season, but beware.
It’s important not to take the physical adaptations you made with all that summer training and racing for granted. De-training over the winter will mean your limits are going to be lower than they were at the end of the previous season. As a result, going straight up to the same capacity sessions and the frequency you were used to before, after a period off, will almost certainly result in symptoms of over-training. Bottom line: reaching too far, too early can deteriorate performance.
It can be easy to forget how long it took to achieve the goals you achieved last season. Training to your max, resting to recover, training harder, resting to recover. It is the type of process you use to improve; overloading each session to get more from your body. Your demanding training should be designed to overload you in your current state. This process requires set rest depending on the amount of overloading you have done, which can be anything from 72 hours to two weeks so you fully recover. The state you are in during the rest period is labelled the ‘overreached state’, which you want to avoid, especially in the early season.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
You can feel if your body is vulnerable when overreached. Your immune is lower and your muscles are actually damaged and become weaker than before the last session. Training in the overreached state can lead to illness and injury, whereas allowing full recovery and then overloading your training again will have positive results.
HOW TO OVERLOAD WITHOUT OVERTRAINING
In an overloading cycle of training it is important to include full recovery weeks. These don’t have to be complete rest, but should be easier than normal with no overload session in them. Most coaches recommend a recovery cycle every third or fourth week, depending on the individual.
Remember, if it was easy to achieve all the things you have in the past you wouldn’t be bothered about doing them. Take your time to train properly, building strength and fitness slowly. Make sure your technique is solid. See it as an overloading process and try to reap the rewards by doing it well.