Avoid com­ing back too quickly, says Pete Wilby

Triathlon Plus - - Contents -

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.


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.


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.

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