Training break: The most important tips
If you have only been doing intensive units very rarely throughout the year and don’t feel at all tired or exhausted, then from a physical point of view, it is not absolutely essential to take a break from running. This presupposes, however, that you give yourself enough time for recovery between each of the training units and that your activation and regeneration systems stay at a healthy balance throughout the year.
Even so, it is good for both the body and spirit when you occasionally break out of your regular routine and activate the parts of your body in different ways by changing the movement patterns. This means that it somehow or other makes sense to take a break from training in autumn. Nevertheless, you don’t need to stop doing sports completely during this break. On the contrary: taking a specific break from running gives you the opportunity to get moderately involved in other sports such as cycling, swimming, hiking, ball games, or group fitness.
In principle, alternative sports never hurt, whether in competitive or health-related sports. Breaks from running or alternative, similar sports can be incorporated throughout the year to take the burden off the running-specific functions of the musculoskeletal system. What’s more, after a «running break» or reduced running workload of 3 to 4 weeks, you will discover that you are really looking forward to your regular running training again and are highly motivated.
Mandatory in competitive sports
Taking a break to regenerate is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary for ambitious runners. Only in this way can the passive structures of the body and the immune system recover well in order to start a new season again – where they will desirably be at a higher level of performance. This annual break is therefore indispensable when it comes to building up performance over the long term.
You don’t, by the way, need to worry that the break will prevent you from reaching your level of performance again. The body literally stores your previous performance capability and achieves it again after a few weeks of specific training.
It is highly important that you cautiously resume training after your break. This is because our musculoskeletal system (tendons, muscles) constantly adapts to the demands placed upon it. It is therefore worthwhile to carefully increase the intensity and scope in well-measured doses.
These 5 tips will ensure your break is a success
- Schedule a fixed date for your break in your annual planning. The most sensible time is after your target race for the season.
- During your break, deliberately do things that you otherwise don’t have time for. And increase the gentle forms of movement that are usually neglected as well.
- Avoid simply filling this extra time with additional work hours and give yourself time for leisure and relaxation.
- During the break, treat yourself to a massage or a salt water bath, for example.
- After the break, give yourself plenty of time before you get involved in the competition scene again.
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