Take your rest after a strenuous race | SierraSun.com

Take your rest after a strenuous race

Following a strenuous event and#8212; for example, last weekendand#8217;s XTERRA Lake Tahoe triathlon in Incline Village and#8212; rest and recovery take top priority in the training plan.

There is the investment of training intensity and volume in preparation for the event in order to stress and challenge the physiological systems. Prior to the event, we counter and remedy this resulting accumulation of fatigue with the taper period. But then comes the big day, and we dig deep and push ourselves beyond those self-imposed limitations and#8212; one of many positive benefits of competitions and#8212; and these deep, sustained efforts take their toll on the body and mind.

In order to fully capitalize on the training and the intensity of the competition, and realize the fitness gains of the investment, it is absolutely vital that every ounce of the body and mind is allowed to completely rest and regenerate. This recovery period leaves us refreshed and hungry to go after the next goal and the training demands to reach it.

Take the week following an event to reward yourself for your accomplishment. This week is a time to revise and continue to develop the training plan by supplementing and complementing with new practices and routines.

It is an opportune time to place a greater focus on yoga and Pilates practices. Yoga helps expand oneand#8217;s stretching repertoire, thus improving flexibility and range of motion, resulting in more efficient fluid mobility. Pilates provides proper movement guidelines to maximize, challenge and create effective core workouts.

The key is to take these practices out of the studios and use them during the endurance workouts. Applying yoga and Pilates principles in practice produces improved propioception (ability to sense the bodyand#8217;s position in space), breathing efficiency and relaxation during challenging physical bouts, improved balance, and intuitive biomechanically efficient movements. These practices are also valuable in providing increased body symmetry and ultimately, injury-free longevity in endurance sports.

During this rest week, explore ways to continue to improve performance. For example, consider incorporating prehab and movement prep exercises into the workout routine. These exercises and dynamic stretches enforce fundamental movement patterns. Consistently including prehab and movement prep exercises in to the warm-up ensures injury prevention and activates and stabilizes muscles so they are receptive for the actual workout. As a result the body is firing on all cylinders, allowing the athlete to maximize every minute of the workout.

This week also affords time to revisit and revise the core workout. It is essential to continually develop and evolve these exercises to effect positive fitness gains. These workouts need to progress beyond the crunch and lean more heavily toward core stabilization exercises that challenge the entire trunk as well as stimulate and sharpen the neuromuscular responses. Be creative and employ physio and medicine balls, single-legged band, various bridges, and planks exercises. Consider and work all parts of the core and#8212; abdominals, obliques, hips, back and shoulders.

Finally, treat yourself to a massage. If rationalization is required for what some think is a frivolous luxury, body work assists recovery, flushing the toxins from muscles.

On another note, jump in with both feet on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at the Truckee Running Cluband#8217;s next bi-monthly Tuesday night race taking place at 5:30 p.m. at the Truckee River Regional Park. These training races are a fantastic opportunity to sharpen speed skills, watch and learn technique from elite-caliber runners, and take away useful data regarding pace and heart rates to hit your individual workouts on stride.

See you on the trails.

and#8212; Julie Young is a Truckee resident and owner of o2fitness. She is a former U.S. National Team member and pro cyclist who currently competes in triathlons and trail runs. Contact her at o2fitness@sbcglobal.net.

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