Recovery must be part of any training planning

I have prepared and trained many athletes, professionalfootballers in the German Bundesliga, and many other types of sports men and women from around the world. Most of the time the main focus is on the process of training and the planning of each session. The different intensities, durations and the amount of repetitions are important components of the training plan.

We primarily focus on the training aspects, but most of the time the recovery process is an undervalued part of the athlete’s preparation and development. Often coaches and athletes view the recovery as a day off from training during which they do nothing. But if athletes do nothing, they will not recover properly. Recovery should be an active process that is part of the whole training period and must be organised during the session planning. It is important to get the right timing (periodisation) to give the body enough time for all kinds of adjustments.

The FIRST recovery should take place after the competition (match). The two main recovery processes are the Post Workout Nutrition (PWN) and the Cryotherapy (CT). The 5 minutes ice bath is perfect for cooling down the body, increasing the blood flow and supplying the tissues with oxygen-rich blood. At the same time the Cryotherapy will help to decrease the production of catabolic hormones. It is important to directly provide the exhausted body with the proper nutrients to replenish glycogen and electrolyte stores. Aperfect example is with a protein shake, a water- juice mix (5:1) or any isotonic drink, or water and a banana.

The next day after the competition is the recovery day!The primary goals should be to increase oxygen and blood circulation on a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer for a minimum of 20 minutes. This type of activity will bring oxygen rich blood into the recovering tissues and enhance the elimination of metabolic waste products.

A recovery day may be a good opportunity to engage in an upper-body strength and power training session – but only for those athletes who engage in primarily lower body activities! A professional massage will also be perfect to assist in returning muscles to their normal length. A foam roller or a self-massage can help as well.

The recovery is a very important part of any training program! Training or competition without recovery will not bring the required success. Recovery should be a daily activity. At the end of each training session, about10 minutes should be spent on light stretching! Recovery is as important as the training and should be part of every training session. It should also be included in the grand planning of the whole season!

The day off (doing nothing) is the perfect opportunity to spend time with family and friends. But the real recovery should be an active process and is considered a part of training.

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