Updated: Sep 10, 2022
Recovery is a fundamental part of the process to improvement, whether it be in sport, or your profession. If you aren’t able to turn up every day to do the work necessary then you will struggle to improve.
Something I’ve found out the hard way, is that you can’t just bury yourself into a hole again, and again, and again, without suffering badly. It’s something I’ve seen both in myself but also in those around me. We are obsessive creatures of habit, and to us, taking a rest seems counterintuitive.
It’s common to think that the more you do, the better you’ll get. And to an extent, yes… however if you’re not careful and you don’t take recovery, then you can quickly see a plateau in improvement and even a decline in performance.
As athletes, we are often blind to the fact that we are absolutely shattered and struggling to do the day to day tasks outside of training that makes us truly happy. This is where you have to rely on your close circle to tell you that you might be tired… this could include your coach, friends, family or loved ones. Trust and listen to them! I know I’ve had to!
It takes a lot of confidence to take a rest, as to a lot a people, it’s a scary concept.
What if I loose fitness? I’ll stop improving…
You have to have confidence to know that a rest will in fact allow the body to rest, recover and improve. As after all:
Training gives the opportunity for improvement… it’s the act of the body repairing itself to be better next time, to meet the demands of the exercise, that really makes improvements.
I’ve definitely been subject to not taking a rest for the above reasons. Also because I didn’t think I needed it. But it’s only when I’ve actually taken rest and come back to training that I’ve seen the biggest gains. But it’s taken a while to get me to the point of being confident with taking rest. Only after multiple forced time off of training has it allowed me to be aware of what rest can truly do for me… how much better I am off of the back of it.
Only due to this forced time away from training have I realised how quickly fitness comes back. I know that after 3 weeks of training, I’m 90% of the way back to full fitness, and after 6 weeks, I’m pretty much there. And that’s from nothing. Let alone taking a day off here and there which makes no difference to your global fitness.
You’ve got to remember here, that everyone is different, and ‘rest’ or recovery will look different for different people (see video below). Don’t compare yourself to others. Do what’s right for you… if you don’t know what that is, and you’d like to, just drop me a message as I feel very strongly about this.
If you keep drilling / digging yourself into this hole, whether it be mentally of physically, it can really take it’s toll on your happiness in and out of the profession. So if you start to neglect the things you usually enjoy, then maybe consider a rest. For me, I know that if I can’t be bothered to go for brunch / meet up with friends, or can’t go to do the shopping etc… that I’m a bit too fatigued for my liking, and it’s probably time to rest.
Essentially, if your day to day life and tasks are being hindered by your sport or profession, it’s time to reassess. Your happiness is what will motivate you day in day out… don’t go down the rabbit hole of thinking that training or work is the sole thing that makes you happy. Don’t get me wrong… improving my sport makes me VERY happy. But life in and around that means equally as much, if not more.
So … have some perspective if you don’t already. Talk to your close circle. Act quickly, as usually we leave it go too long… and ensure your enjoying that day to day life both in … and around the sports or professions you probably love.