Anatomy of Speed Series – How to Rest & Actively Recover for Optimum Performance
Over the last three four weeks you have been following a complete training program to improve your identified weaknesses in your performance ability: muscular strength, endurance and/or lactate tolerance.
[Note: if you haven’t signed up for your FREE 10 Week Complete Training Program, please email me directly and I will send you the first four weeks of this program.]
In addition to nutrition & training protocols, you have been provided some soft tissue maintenance protocols (i.e. foam roller and isolated stretches) that you can easily implement to your daily routine to improve your range of motion for reduced risk of injury. Please email me if you would like me to send you a series of foam roller exercise, trigger point therapy and single muscle isolated stretching exercises.
If you have received training weeks 1 thru 4, you will be receiving Week 5: Rest & Active Recovery via your email. This training schedule is designed to provide your body the opportunity to actually “absorb” all of the smart training that you have implementing over the last four week.
Why Rest & Recovery is Important to Overall Health, Wellness and Performance
According to the European Journal of Sports Science, evaluation of blood markers associated with muscle damage, inflammation, muscle function, muscle soreness, economy, muscle strength and VO2 max has validated that these performance variables were significantly reduced (ranging from 4.5 – 5.4%) after consistent training and especially after a significant event (similar to the demands associated with high profile racing ranging from one to five days).
Though the specifics of blood chemistry is beyond the scope of this article, you can see that there are many “effects” of training & racing beyond just “feeling” your sore muscles and noticing an elevated heart rate. Taking a one week break from the typical volume & intensity maintained for three to four weeks allows your blood chemistry to “re-balance” which helps offset negative side affects like fatigue, sickness, irritability, lack of motivation, decreases in speed & endurance and a delay in your recovery from riding, cross training & racing.
Once your blood chemistry is properly rebalanced, you will notice a particular improvement in your mental outlook of training: you are more motivated to begin a workout, more motivated to push through difficult workouts along with recover quicker from riding, cross training and racing.
Won’t I Get Slow if I Back Off?
This is the biggest concern from riders and racers; however, over my last 28 years of working with riders and racers all over the world, the feedback that I receive after backing off slightly is overwhelming consistent: “I am so glad that I backed off last week, I feel 100% better – have you seen my testing results!”
5 Performance Elements to Focus on During a Low Volume/Intensity Week of Training
Evaluate Your Personal Goals & Objectives
Sit down and ask yourself why you are even motivated to swing a leg over a motorcycle? Ask yourself what you could be focusing on (both on and off of the track) to improve your potential of achieving your goals on the track. To help keep you focused, identify three things that you want to accomplish over the next five weeks and then outline three objectives per goal that are specific and measurable. For example: Goal: I want to drop 10 pounds in five weeks. Objective #1: stop drinking soda; Objective #2: stop eating white starches; Objective #3: stop eating fast food. In this example, you have a specific goal and three things that you can apply daily to help your goal become a reality.
Schedule a Massage
Simply put, as muscles are used for physical movement, they become progressively tighter. As the muscles tighten, they shorten which puts strain on the attachments at each end of the muscle (origin and insertion). By receiving a massage on a regular basis (as often as once a week) keeps the muscles from becoming overly tight.
As the tension in the muscle is reduced, the range of motion of the muscles (primary and secondary) improves which results in higher levels of strength and endurance. By stimulating the tissue with massage, the blood vessels open bringing oxygen & nutrient rich blood to the stimulated areas, helping speed up the recovery of stressed muscle tissue.
Evaluate & Edit Your Personal Schedule
You can’t manage time, only yourself. Time keeps ticking no matter what you choose to do with the 24 hours that are in a day. To get the most out of a day, avoid being rushed. If you are short on time getting to the track, unloading, getting geared up and then trying to ride, you will inevitably skip your warm up because you are short on time.
If you cut your warm up short, the quality of your riding session will be negatively affected (notice how you feel better at the end of a moto than in the beginning? This is because you are finally warmed up!). If you are tight on time, you will skip (or at least delay) eating after your session which results in a delay in your recovery process (leaving you sore and tired). You can see how this daily problem becomes a bigger ripple as the week transpires resulting in less than optimum results.
Catch Up On Your Sleep
When you sleep at night your body releases a hormone called hGH (which stands for human growth hormone) immediately after you fall asleep; hGH helps the body recover more efficiently, makes you leaner, and helps produce hormones that make you stronger! A University of Chicago sleep study found that individuals who get too little sleep metabolize & store sugar less efficiently implying that sleep deprivation may impair performance when the body needs to tap into stored sugar (glycogen) for energy (riding & cross training). So while you are backing off on your overall training volume for the week, use the extra time available to catch a few extra hours of sleep.
Learn to Stretch Properly
Ironically, racers hurt themselves more often attempting to enhance their range motion through stretching than any other form of activity. To maximize your efforts to improve your range of motion, you have to implement stretching at the correct time, with correct form and without activating a reflex within the muscle tissue called the Stretch Reflex. For a complete warm up & cool down procedure for optimum range of motion, please email me directly and will provide you what I use with our riders both during training and on race day.
Next week I will post training week #6: Re-Testing & Evaluation. In the mean time, if you have any questions or need anything clarified, please email me & my staff of coaches directly.