The Importance of Rest and Recovery

Rest and Recovery is the secret to improving your climbing performance:
Training Tip #22

rest and recovery
I hope you’ve all been having a blast training hard and pulling down. Now it’s time to talk about rest and recovery. We all want to climb harder, run faster, feel stronger and better at everything we do athletically. The number one mistake most athletes make is doing too much of a “good” thing. By that I mean… the idea that more is better right? Not exactly.
Having adequate rest and recovery is the most important piece to improved performance and often overlooked. If one of my athletes is tired, under performing or gets injured (aside from an actually impact trauma) it’s usually because she is “under” recovered, not over trained.
Even though we love our sports and training for them we need to keep in mind that even the things we love athletically are also stressors and take from our bodies. To stay healthy and balanced take an honest look at your life and try and correct imbalances in your recovery plan where you can. Here are some guidelines.
Recovery:
  • One full rest day a week.
  • 8 – 10 hours of sleep a night depending on how hard you are training.
  • Balanced training week and long term rest schedule (I will elaborate).
  • Honor outside stressors, take more rest and get more sleep if you have elevated life stress; in a relationship or at work for example. 
  • Hydrate properly.
  • Eat quality foods and plenty of food, balanced with healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
  • Practice Yoga or other balancing muscle elongating or stretching modalities weekly.
  • Massage and/or Chiropractic, Acupuncture or other body work 1- 2 x a month minimum, weekly would be ideal.
  • If you are not following these guidelines some where along the way we will have breakdown in the athlete. Injury, illness, decreased performance, and/or burn out.
How to further balance your training program with rest and recovery:
We’ve discussed this in prior training tips on a weekly format and a monthly format.
Need a reminder on how to get started? Or perhaps you’ve moved on to the next step of strength training
WEEKLY: Your week can look like this or something similar that fits into your life and work schedule.
  • Monday – Yoga or active recovery
  • Tuesday – Strength session gym and power climbing
  • Wednesday  – Strength session gym and Strength Endurance for climbing
  • Thursday PE session gym/Cardio vascular output
  • Friday – Rest and recovery day
  • Saturday – Climb
  • Sunday Climb or Rest if overly tired, listen to your body this is a lot of volume. Climb  2 – 4 days a week to the best of your ability.
MONTHLY:
  • Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself
  • Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
  • Week 5 – 7 hard weeks push yourself again.
  • Week 8 easy week – take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
BIG PICTURE:
If you have been following these tips through out, have built your training program and are following these guidelines, eventually you need to take a more extended break. Often many of us are forced out of a sport due to the change of seasons however now we have so many indoor facilities, I’ll use climbing as an example, we can continue training through the winter.
If you have been training in a focused manner for 8 weeks or longer you have been making gains and are psyched and don’t want to stop. However you should. By stop I mean take a break, take that training time to do deeper recovery. 1- 2 weeks based on age and length of training cycle.
In your 20s:
12 week intensive training cycles are usually fine, following this cycle of Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
Then take a one to two week break, off from climbing.
Then start up again ((: 
In your 30s:
10 week intensive training cycles are usually fine, following this cycle of Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
Then take a one to two week break, off from climbing.
Then start up again ((: 
In your 40s:
8 week intensive training cycles are usually fine, following this cycle of Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
Then take a one to two week break, off from climbing.
Then start up again ((: 
In you 50 – 70s:
6 week intensive training cycles are usually fine, following this cycle of Week 1 – 3 hard weeks push yourself Week 4 – easy week- take three rest days and just have fun, don’t train with any structure or you’ll burn out or worse break.
Then take a one to two week break, off from climbing.
Then start up again ((: 
80 and older: you rock keep doing what you’re doing! (((:
Summary:
Now you’ve established a weekly, monthly and long term training schedule. I always recommend for people to write this down and make a plan. Random disorganized training will lead to decreased potential and frustration in most athletes. Remember, set a goal, make a plan, write it down, execute! And most of all have fun.
Until the next newsletter…
carolyn Parker knows how to rest and recover during trainingCarolyn Parker
970-773-3317
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