It’s hot, it’s humid, it’s spent and bedraggled August. Why am I thinking about a cup of coffee before I work out? Why are my energy stores vacillating between lazy and waning. My poor little toe tips are shredded from all the extra summer walks. My motivation is fizzling as the sidewalks are sizzling. I’m wrestling with an attitude…
Maybe it’s time for some much needed rest and recovery. If you have been walking for most of this year, you might need to build some long-term recovery into your walking calendar. Long-term recovery refers to days or weeks that are built into a year-round training schedule, sort of like vacation days. You give yourself so much pre-planned time and then you have to go back to your routine.
The body can handle only so much repeated stress from training and adapting to varied workouts. To compensate it accumulates fatigue – a condition known as cumulative fatigue. This cumulative fatigue is also the reason athletes, coaches, and personal trainers change their training program throughout the year. Spicing things up by adding other activities, modifying workouts, and making changes in intensity, time, and distance helps spread out the stress to different joints and muscles.
Sometimes, symptoms of overtraining may occur from a lack of rest or recovery time. Signs of overtraining can include feelings of apathy, staleness, depression, prolonged muscle soreness, stiffness, and decreased performance. The main concern with overtraining is the increased risk of injury it presents. Paying attention to all of these symptoms will help joints and muscles get a much needed break.
The moral of the story: Balance rest and recovery
Through alternating training, adapting and recovery a person should be able to attain a higher level of fitness. If you can monitor your workouts by using a training log, and you pay attention to how your body feels and how motivated you are, this can help in determining your recovery needs. It can also help you modify your yearly walking program.