The magic and discipline for recovery.
Recovery is the mystical ying versus yang for all athletes. Especially athletes in the sport of CrossFit. With CrossFit being so broad, inclusive, and unknown there is always that inner thought of needing to do more and to get right back into training after a major event.
So, below we are going to outline a few of the how’s and why’s with recovery that athletes need to take to create room for future growth and longevity.
1. Training Age. Based around an athletes training age can dictate how much recovery they need. The longer their training age is, yes the more then can handle, but on the flip side the higher intensity they perform at. So, the mental rejuvenation is more important for them post competition then somebody who is younger in training age.
2. Physical age. The older the athletes are the more time they need to recover. A general rule of thumb is at least one week of doing nothing, and then 2-3 weeks of “play.”
3. Accumulation. Once you get back into working out again the process should not be filled with intense workouts and beat downs. The process should be about structure, stability, balance, bi-lateral work, movement quality, movement, planes of action, etc. This is the phase that will sharpen your skills, get your physically healthy and allow more time for your brain to recovery without maintaining high stress environments.
4. Refine pillars for life. For instance if you do not breathe, eat, sleep then you are probably in really bad state. So, you need to sleep. Sleeping will do the most for regeneration. You need to know how to breathe better to assist in the parasympathetic state. You need to eat well. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain the importance of eating. However, keep in mind that you should assume you eat well. KNOW you are eating well for what you are doing.
5. Re-kindle time lost with loved ones and grow back friendships that were put on pause. In any journey there will be some sacrifices. Make sure in your recovery you take the time to reignite these or the mental tole will catch up to you. You need balance of Mindy, body and spirit.
6. Enjoy your time. Most of the time when you are coming off of something structured for so long allow yourself to be creative, relaxed and experience new things. The change can be just what your brain needs to re-engage in a month.
These were just a few things to keep in mind with recovery.
Why is this so important? This simply comes down to stress and stress management. Stress is what you need for any adaption to occur. However, too much and too prolonged and it can kill you. Your body will shut down, your brain will convince you that you hate what your doing etc. This recovery state is as equally as important for you brain as it is for your body. You need to wake up and want to train again. If you catch yourself dragging through workouts then that is a sign that you are not ready yet.
This is also the time for reflection. This is where you and your coach can break down the previous year, address issues that rose up, develop the plan for next year. The key factor here is to reflect, adjust, and forget. Forget about the previous year, because that is the past. Focus on what is new and needed for the future.
Take your recovery serious and walk the line of coming back soon, but not too soon. If you recover too long, and take a hiatus, then yes you will have a negative response by loosing fitness and/or strength. However, if you follow the steps above then you will be ready to rock and roll and get back into the swing of things.