Rest and recovery are key pillars of a successful training program. Too little rest and your performance will flat line as you won’t be able to hit your quality sessions of the week. Too much rest and you will never improve. During workouts, you break down muscle tissue, deplete glycogen stores, shock energy systems, and fatigue the mind. During recovery, your body repairs all these things AND makes them stronger than they were before. This is how we get stronger but adequate recovery is essential.
There are many new ways to measure recovery that have come out recently. Many look at heart rate variability among other factors that indicate adequate recovery. Whether you have some of these new technologies or not, you need to use common sense. Ask yourself if you feel recovered and analyze what has worked well for you in the past. Make sure to also be honest about other demands on your body that could be hindering recovery like work stress, sleep, and nutrition. Also, you can track resting heart rate to support your hindsight. If resting heart rate is 6-8 beats per minute elevated, this could mean you need more rest. If 10 or more beats elevated, you should absolutely seek out more rest.
If you find you are not recovered, get some extra rest, pay attention to nutrition, and take a few easy days or off completely. Additionally, look back at how you got here and learn from it.
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