In this video, learn about one of the most important concepts of periodization and how to implement breaks in training and throughout a Long Term Athlete Development plan.
Excerpt from Coaching wrestling in the 21st century
The transition phase, in a periodization of training model, is a break or decrease from training volume from season to season in a manner that helps athletes grow, develop, and recover. The end of a training month (or mesocycle) generally has a recovery week and a recovery week is also designed to decrease training volume to help athletes grow, develop, and recover. Breaks in between bouts of wrestling competitions or training are also a decrease in volume of work and also help athletes grow, develop, and recover. Recovery is one of the secrets of training that often gets overlooked (to the demise of many coaches and athletes) so we will spend some time describing this very important concept.
One of the components of anabolic steroids, which is sometimes used as an illegal performance enhancing drug, was the very quick recovery time it allowed its illegal abusers. To be clear, anabolic steroids are illegal PEDs, and, I am not endorsing nor recommending anyone use them and my point is to show you how important recovery is. Because illegal steroids allowed its abusers to recover quickly, it also allowed them to train more and have more good to great practices. This accumulation of training hours gave anabolic steroid abusers an illegal advantage because it was like they had trained twice or three times as much as non-anabolic steroid users. Can you imagine what type of an advantage 2-3 times the amount of training (designed by sport scientists, medical doctors & high performance training coaches) would give anyone?
One of the byproducts of training is fatigue (fitness fatigue theory). Recovery time allows our bodies to recuperate, relax, and re-build so that the training can be optimally realized The process of daily recovery generally takes about 5-24 hours and involves eating at least 3 nutritious meals per day (plus re-hydrating), sleeping for 8-10 hours per day, and letting the body naturally get back to its homeostasis or normal state. When athletes recover properly, they can actually do more work again till they are tired and need another break. This cycle of work, rest, recovery is normal and happens in all parts of life. Have you ever read a book for more than 3 hours in a row or written a paper for more than 3 hours in a row with no breaks? If so, how did you feel during and after those work bouts? And, did your quality of work start to diminish? The body needs intermittent breaks to adequately and consistently perform at high levels in sport, life, and everywhere else.
So how can you as coach design great recovery plans?
You can design great recovery plans by thoroughly understanding & applying each phase of a periodization of training model i.e. pre-competition phase, competition phase, & transition phase. That seems simple and sometimes the balance of each phase gets unbalanced. In other words, one phase of the season may not support the other and under-recovery (overtraining) or burnout or injuries or quitting may happen with the athletes. To balance each phase, coaches should keep in mind LTAD and really understand what each phase could look like.
Another concept for designing great recovery plans is utilizing the fitness fatigue theory. This theory suggests 2 things happen when any athlete trains: they get fit and they get fatigued. So, every athlete must have time to recover in order to optimally realize the fitness just gained after training. If athletes are allowed adequate time to recover (generally 5-24 hours) they will be more ready for the next workout or training session. Given enough recovery time via a recovery week (when the volume of training is reduced for entire week), athletes will actually supercompensate or be more fit than they were before the start of the mesocycle and recovery week. In other words, when athletes are in the middle of a training block or mesocycle, they are more fatigued because the volume of training is increasing. Athletes will optimally realize fitness training and be more in shape after a recovery week when the fatigue declines faster than the fitness declines due to the decrease in the volume of training.
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