It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
As we head into a new year of training and exercise programs, we’ve recently been blogging about the six principles of conditioning that every athlete or trainer should follow when prepping for the optimal workout or exercise program. These principles (Individual Differences, Overload, Progression, Adaption, Use/Disuse, and Specificity) are universally accepted and should be followed so that those participating can make the most gains and improvements in their fitness and performance levels.
Designing a program that adheres to all of these guidelines can be challenging, so it’s not a surprise that many athletes turn to a coach or trainer for help with the details so they can focus on the workouts. One common training method is Periodization Training, which builds on specific training phases throughout the year. It’s used by athletes to ramp up and down training in order to be in the best condition at a target time frame. Each phase may last weeks or even months, depending upon the ultimate goal, but the principles of conditioning are followed so that fitness increases but the risk of overtraining or developing an overuse injury decreases.
Periodization training plans can be complex and individually designed, but we’ll be discussing the basic annual periodization phases that can be used by most athletes with some minor tweaking.
Phase Six of the six phases of periodization training is Rest and Recovery. After you’ve peaked and raced, you’ll need to plan for some rest and recovery time. This phase can last from one week to two months depending upon the intensity and duration of the competition or season. It also depends on your overall fitness level. For example, a novice marathon runner may need more rest than an experienced runner who completes several marathons each year. Even if you feel fine physically, you need to allow yourself some mental down time as well. This is critical to help reduce the risk of overtraining, burnout, injuries and depression. This is a great time to cross train or just kick back and let your body relax.