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The importance of rest and regeneration

Rest and recovery is so critical to improving your performance, but often we see two big mistakes as people approach their rest days:

1.   The cheat day.  No movement.  Any food is fair game.
2.   The fake rest day.  A light run around the lake and maybe a yoga class.

Neither are helpful. Learning the true meaning of recovery and regeneration is critical so that you can allow adaptation (change in your body) to take place.  To see change, we have to allow for peaks and valleys to happen in our training program. These dips usually have to come every 3 to 5 days and they have to be treated appropriately in order for us to see change. 

Here is what has to happen on a recovery day for best results:

 

 8.5 hours of sleep.

This, should happen every day, but especially on a recovery day.  Most hormonal changes happen during sleep.  If you skimp on it, you won’t see change.

Move

Do something, but move at less than 60% of what you would normally do.  This means no running.  Go for a walk.  Work on a skill or practice drills that are more technical like squatting or running mechanic drills.  Remember, it’s practice, not work.

Mobilize

Spend time taking care of what is tight, ropey, gummed up.  Try trigger point foam rolling, lacrosse ball compression, and work on getting into positions that are restrictive to you.  A great example is shin to wall.  Take your time with this.  You should spend at least 20 minutes working on taking care of your body.

Hydrate

Most of us think that because we aren’t sweating that we don’t have to hydrate.  You should drink 64 OZ or more.

Nourish well

Cook something that is nourishing, healthy, and will help support recovery.  My personal favorite on a recovery day is crockpot barbacoa. 

 

It is so important to treat recovery days with care.  They are just like game days or heavy workout days.  They should be planned out and have intention.  

 

Crockpot Barbacoa

  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) Beef Chuck Roast or turkey breast bone in
  • 3 large dried chipotle peppers, seeds removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried oregano
  • ¾ cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 3 bay leaves