General Discussion Triathlon Talk » How do you define "recovery days"?? Rss Feed  
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2013-06-18 8:53 AM

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Subject: How do you define "recovery days"??
I started an earlier thread about feeling awful after taking a day or two off and then getting back into the exercise routine. This just happened. I took the entire weekend off...felt sluggish and heavy all weekend, and then today went out for a 3 mile run which just felt awful the whole way. Of course now that I am done and stretching out I feel great!!

It sounded like several folks were suggesting NOT taking days off completely but doing something else. So I guess I wanted to get some additional feedback. On your "recovery days" are you just NOT going for a run, but doing something else instead (long swim maybe)? Or do you take the day completely off from going out and doing some form of exercise?


2013-06-18 9:11 AM
in reply to: keqwow

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
On my rest days I do no workouts. I may take a light walk or get out the Huffy and ride with my wife, but no serious s/b/r training. On a "recovery" day, I will go easy but will still get in a solid s/b/r workout. I do not go with more than one day of rest concurrently unless it's post race or I am sick or injured, or if I am feeling particularly lazy or burnt out or if my schedule gets completely messed up due to work or weather.
2013-06-18 9:16 AM
in reply to: keqwow

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
My experience: I don't schedule to "rest days" b/c life happens (e.g., work/family) & forces them on you. For times when life isn't happening, but my body's telling me something--for example--having a really difficult time getting out of bed, I sleep-in & do nothing. As a matter of fact, I'll probably end up indulging in some junk food that day which I don't usually do.
2013-06-18 9:24 AM
in reply to: mrbbrad

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
For me, rest and recovery is the same thing. I don't do S/B/R. I like to do a session pilates to stretch through all muscles and do some core strength and I feel really good after this. I try to avoid off days just because I'm lazy or unmotivated, I know that most of the laziness is about getting my butt moving so I try to at least make it an easy day. And rather than two consecutive recovery days I try to convert the second to an easy day instead.

mrbbrad's recovery day is what I'd call an easy day: S, B or R going easy, but still do a workout.
2013-06-18 9:56 AM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
Same this as a previous poster, I dont schedule rest days because at least once a week "life" happens and Im forced to take a day off. As for what I do, I dont do anything, no s/b/r.
2013-06-18 10:21 AM
in reply to: Live2ski

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
Typically my rest day is an "easy" day as well - most of the time a swim workout. Or I will do strength training with core/stretching.


2013-06-18 10:46 AM
in reply to: keqwow

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
I don't define "recovery days". I define recovery. Sometimes it may require a few seconds, sometimes hours, sometimes days. It all depends where you are in your training (and life) and the stress you have accumulated (physical and mental). Do as much, or as little, as you need in order to recover to continue with your plans. This is both simple and complex, of course.
2013-06-18 11:11 AM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
Just go by how you feel. Most of us do triathlons as a lifestyle hobby. Our livelihood and the livelihood of our families doesn't depend on it. Taking a day or two off, or eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's are indulgences we can all get away with. You no doubt have some triathlon goals that will keep you generally on the right track. Whatever "recovery days" feels good to you, go with it. Some do stretching or yoga, some do light exercising, some do nothing. There is no right or wrong answer for most of us.

Your recent experience could be a lot of things unrelated to your not exercising for a day or two. Over time, you'll figure out what feels good. Try out a lot of options though and be open to the idea that it's nearly impossible to isolate one variable as a difference maker at first. Over time you may figure one out, but food, hydration, stress, the moon, how you slept the night before, what shoes did you wear to work, and on and on and on ... conspire to make identifying one difference maker a challenging task. We've all had those days when our legs felt like sea anchors, and for no identifyable reason. And we've had just as many days (hopefully) when we felt invincible! There's just so much going on in our life.

For me, recovery is only doing one discipline a day. At the same time, I'm not afraid to take a day or two totally off if life permits (I say permits because for me to take time off means something pretty frekin' cool is going on)! This past weekend I got to visit NYC with my wife for the first time. Walking what I conservatively calculated at 25 miles on Friday and Saturday left me in no shape to run, so I didn't. Oh, and I also spent way too much time at this little bakery in Chinatown that had some amazing food. Nothing like Chinese food and sweet bread at 8 am to add some guiltless pleasure to the day!
2013-06-18 11:14 AM
in reply to: keqwow

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
Originally posted by keqwow

I started an earlier thread about feeling awful after taking a day or two off and then getting back into the exercise routine. This just happened. I took the entire weekend off...felt sluggish and heavy all weekend, and then today went out for a 3 mile run which just felt awful the whole way. Of course now that I am done and stretching out I feel great!!

It sounded like several folks were suggesting NOT taking days off completely but doing something else. So I guess I wanted to get some additional feedback. On your "recovery days" are you just NOT going for a run, but doing something else instead (long swim maybe)? Or do you take the day completely off from going out and doing some form of exercise?


Recovery can be either "active" where you do some aerobic work, or just plain rest. Both can be perfectly valid uses of your time. You will probably get more out of active recovery than just sitting around, but it's hard to say where "optimal" lies in terms of distributing those. Taking more than 1 day a week off is probably unnecessary (assuming no injury), and never ever having a day off is probably not optimal either. Either way, easy means easy. So yeah, easy swim, short jog, easy bike ride.

If you want to know some of the "why", it's basically the theory that you work hard 1-2 day(s), and take a day for your body to recover, trying to maximize the total amount of "work" you do while keeping the "variety" of workouts very high. I'm sure Shane could explain it better.

-J
2013-06-18 11:26 AM
in reply to: keqwow

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
Recovery and days off are different to me.

Like some others have said, I don't really have a planned day off. But with life I usually end up with a day off anywhere from a week to 10 days. If I didn't take one then i will take a day off around the 2 week mark. On that day off I will not exercise, no swim, yoga, etc

As for recovery, to me that means just a less intense workout after a race or a series of tougher workouts. Swim is a favorite as it is the easiest on my body, but running is always the easiest to get done. Just slower and shorter than normal.
2013-06-18 3:26 PM
in reply to: keqwow

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
Except right before a race all my recovery days are active recovery. I may ride an EASY 10-15 mikes or swim an EASY 2000-3000 yards. I never run because all my runs are slow. Sometimes I might do another sport. Since I moved from a day off to an active recovery I feel better that day as well as the days after.



2013-06-18 6:14 PM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??
Originally posted by JohnnyKayI don't define "recovery days". I define recovery. Sometimes it may require a few seconds, sometimes hours, sometimes days. It all depends where you are in your training (and life) and the stress you have accumulated (physical and mental). Do as much, or as little, as you need in order to recover to continue with your plans. This is both simple and complex, of course.
I agree with JK. Recovery isn't necessarily black and white or on/off. Sometimes a full day of rest is best. Sometimes it's a week of reduced volume, sometimes it's a day or three of reduced volume and/or intensity. It depends on the athlete, their experience level, ability to recover, time to a targeted event, etc.
2013-06-18 7:14 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: How do you define "recovery days"??

Originally posted by TriMyBest
Originally posted by JohnnyKayI don't define "recovery days". I define recovery. Sometimes it may require a few seconds, sometimes hours, sometimes days. It all depends where you are in your training (and life) and the stress you have accumulated (physical and mental). Do as much, or as little, as you need in order to recover to continue with your plans. This is both simple and complex, of course.
I agree with JK. Recovery isn't necessarily black and white or on/off. Sometimes a full day of rest is best. Sometimes it's a week of reduced volume, sometimes it's a day or three of reduced volume and/or intensity. It depends on the athlete, their experience level, ability to recover, time to a targeted event, etc.

x3. 

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