I’m tapering for my half marathon this week. I kind of feel like some stallion locked in the stable being denied it’s true calling: to run free.
Traditionally, taper weeks and recovery weeks are daunting for me. There’s this little voice that whispers “lazy.” It’s hard when you spend years finding excuses not to exercise and then need to accept that now, in a healthy well-balanced training plan, you actually have reasons not to exercise.
You may be like me, and need to discover the hard way why recovery is important by encountering injuries . One missed workout might feel like a pound you could have lost, an unseized opportunity. But I challenge you to think of recovery as a lifestyle, a regular part of life, rather than a single day, once a week when you’re not “allowed” to exercise.
And it may seem odd to discuss such a topic when so many of us have trouble just getting up to workout at all. But what I’ve seen in my own life and that of many others is a culture of extremes. We either workout with such abandon that we feel guilty at the sheer thought of a day off or we sit idly by and do absolutely nothing.
If you can wrap your mind around the importance of recovery, right from the beginning, it can help you avoid the all or nothing mentality that can easily lead to giving up.
Just think about your job. You could work 16 hours a day everyday without a weekend off or a vacation.
Would that be the most effective way to get the most out of you as an employee? Would you be enthusiastic about new projects or even just heading to work in the morning knowing that endless hours and days lay before you?
Time away, recovery time, serves to recharge the batteries, recover enthusiasm and actually makes the time you do spend working more efficient and productive.
Our bodies work the same way.
Exercise, by nature, is the act of breaking down your body.
You do not get more fit during the hours you lift, or run or walk. You get more fit in the time after those activities, when your body is regenerating, improving it’s systems to handle what you did – for the next time.
Components of Exercise Recovery
Recovery doesn’t happen on Sundays when you twiddle your thumbs wishing you could slide in another quick workout. It happens all week and these are the vital components:
If you want to do any further reading on recovery I am a big fan of the CORE Performance books that take a really unique stance on this and injury prevention.
How do you work recovery into your everyday routine?