What a beautiful week for a recovery week!! Not only is the number of scheduled workout hours less for the week, but the weather is going to be GORGEOUS (62 on Thursday)...it can't get better than this!!
One might ask, "Why are recovery weeks important?" The answer is simple...improvements in one's fitness occur during recovery weeks when our bodies have ample time to rebuild and repair. After a workout is finished, our bodies are actually weaker...not stronger. It is important to rest between workouts and to have a recovery week to let the body repair and build that strength that we think we are getting from a tough workout or series of tough workouts. If we continually push our bodies with every workout every week, we will most likely become overtrained and encounter injuries.
How often should recovery weeks arise during a training plan? That depends on your current fitness level, your training history, how well you recover, the diversity of the event and distance you are training for. A well designed training plan not only has recovery weeks built into it, it also has recovery workouts built into every week so recovery can occur between high intensity workouts.
Naps are great ways to recover!! Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of taking a nap after a high intensity workout. Many people have jobs, kids, housework, etc. that can interfere with that nap. My hubby and I have decided that if we are going to properly train for IM Moo, we are also going to have to incorporate proper recovery. As a result, we have had many evenings that were early to bed and many naps after high intensity workouts. For instance, this last Friday night we were asleep before 7 pm and slept for nearly 11 hours. We then took a 2 hour nap on Saturday and were in bed by 9 pm for another good night's sleep (consisting of about 10 hours). I know this doesn't work for everyone, but it works for us and I know this won't change :)
I love my recovery weeks!! It really makes the hard core training weeks that much more enjoyable and beneficial. All I have to say to my muscles this week is..."Build, baby build!!" I am ready to come back stronger next week :)