Coach Susie Langley with Jane Hansom at Hawaii earlier this year.
I thought I would put the two subjects of Rest and Christmas together, as both need to be integrated to have a happy holiday period for you and those around you.
There is no reason to feel guilty while eating Christmas dinner or relaxing over a few beers with some pudding for dessert.
The question of ‘rest’, when one should be doing it and how to best implement it in a busy life-work balance arises in question time at all my seminars. Always.
The anxiety of ‘should I rest? And what about the missed sessions is my program?’ is a paralysing self debate, which usually ends in if, ‘well, if I just push on and do everything, then I have everything covered.’
The reality is rest does not work this way.
So let’s analyse what at Trisutto.com we call a rest day, while also accounting for the fact that each athlete is different.
Some athletes like to do nothing on a rest day. Absolutely nothing. Just ask Chrissie (Wellington) about her first experience in camp where her room-mates did nothing but watch the TV series ’24’ ad nauseum during their rest period.
This is fine for me.
Others, like Chrissie, find that situation totally unacceptable. So we do what is called an active rest day. This is where we do very short sessions of no more than 30 minute tops.
Some professionals still like to to do the three sessions as per their normal training day, and so our rest day may look like this:
20 minute jog in the morning. 30 minute easy pedal in the afternoon with a light splash in the pool of between 1-1.5km. Never more than 2km.
We have others who want to do a little jog or a splash swim and nothing else. This is also acceptable.
These times and distances are very easy even for age group athletes, so one can imagine how for the pros it is truly a rest day with some muscle movement.
What we do not do on rest day – massage. Massage doesn’t constitute a rest. We do that before our rest day.
Resting over Christmas
For those of you worried about incorporating ‘rest’ into your schedules over Christmas, here is a little present for our athletes on training plans:
You’ll find the training broken up into blocks. 5-7 days training followed by a rest or active rest day, followed by another 5-7 training before another rest day as per our program.
Here is the kicker. After the third period of training, no matter how we feel we take a minimum two-day break. Always. One day doing completely nothing and the other can be active rest if you choose to.
This is mandatory. Two rest days. No discussion. I don’t care if you are ‘feeling good’.
This is where we get our insurance policy from over-training.
We then have a ‘get back to training day’ where we build back into training gently. No heart rate stuff, at most some simple accelerations on all three. Then we’re back into our workload full tilt until we believe we need our next rest day.
What day is that?
I have no idea and neither should the athlete. The weekly calender just as the training program should not dictate to us that.
The training philosophy is this:
If our bodies tell us it wants or needs a rest – then we take it. If one day is not enough, we always take two. But here is the kicker, the 3rd day is always building, not smashing. It’s preparing our bodies to get back to some real work.
At Trisutto.com a 72 hours of break / easy work every training cycle is as close to dogma that you will find. The freshening up it gives you will make such a difference to the quality of your everyday training.
So what has it to do with Christmas?
Well, it allows you to give yourself time off over the festive days. Now, with one week before Christmas you can work yourself really hard with two blocks of three days of solid training with one rest day in the middle.
Then Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day can be recovery before getting straight back to your training the very next day.
You’re happy that you missed nothing and much more importantly your family are appreciative that you took genuine time off to spend with them on the special occasion.
Merry Christmas to all and thank you for your support over a brilliant 2016 season.
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