Rest & Sleep
Sleep and proper rest are important for helping our bodies to recover. Getting proper amounts of rest and sleep can help reduce or ease stress, help with muscle growth and development, enhance your rate of recovery, and improve your performance.
Sleep can be especially important when training for activities like a race. Good sleep can also improve your reaction time on the course by up to 15%, and has helped endurance athletes perform 5-10% better on average! That can be a huge difference when it comes to competing in a long race!
Giving our bodies time to rest from training is also important. We often think more is better but without rest days, our bodies and mind can be overworked. When we look at the amount of training we do, there are a couple of rules to keep in mind:
- Don’t increase your training volume by more than 10% each week
- This means that if in our first week of training we train for 100 minutes, we should not increase our total training time by more than 10 minutes in week two.
- Total time spent training per week should not exceed your age.
- It’s okay to be active, but we don’t want to overdo it on structured training. If you are 8 years old the maximum amount of time you should spend in on organized activity per week is 8 hours. After that, risk of injury or burnout can increase dramatically.
When training, it's important to remember that proper growth and improvement takes time. A well thought out training plan will always include enough rest and appropriate training volumes. Plan ahead in your training to give your body enough time to rest and recover!
- Try to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night
- This will help your body recover from training the day before.
- Make a routine for your body
- This will help you know when it’s time to go to sleep. Try to sleep at the same time every night!
- Take at least two days off from training each week
- Having a couple day to rest your body is just as important as your workouts!
- Switch up your intensity
- It’s okay to make your training a little bit easier if you are sore or tired. Pay attention to how your body feels to prevent an injury!
Using these tips can help make sure that your body will be fully recovered and ready for race day!