What is an active rest?
“Active rest” or active recovery applies to training schedules used by athletes. Top level athletes who put in intense hard training need to rest and recover their bodies. There are only so many workouts you can do at maximum intensity, and an active rest day between grueling hard workouts is essential. To get maximum effort out of your training your body and mind needs to be recovery. The US Greco Roman National coach Steve Fraser wrote HARD Work Requires Hard Recovery (make that a link it’s on coachmatt ).
As a world class athlete for over half my life, I’ve learned about the importance of rest and recovery. When you have big goals, you feel like there is never enough time to get in all the training you have to do.
Time management is critical part of training for world class athletes. LINK http://coachmattlindland.com/2011/08/coach-matt-lindland-mmatime/ We also need intensity of training and if we never rest or recover it’s hard to train with maximum effort and intensity.
Some old school coaches believe rest is always completely off, but research and my own personal experiences has taught me that low intensity “active rest” helps maintain conditioning level. There are also athletes that put in hard training camps then after their fight or match take time off to “RECOVER”. That’s called being lazy. Serious athletes know there really is no time off #NTO.
After a hard training cycle “training camp” we do need to recover, the same as after intense days of training. Rest is important, so the bottom line is that active rest and active recovery needs to be a part of the training regimen.
There are so many benefits of active rest. It helps flush out lactic acid which then delivers more oxygen to the muscles for recovery. Not only is active rest good for your body, a recovery day is great for your mind. Top level athletes train at intensity and volume that is uncommon, recovery for your mind is also critically important. Active rest gets you out of the daily grind and makes training fun and exciting.
Hiking, biking, ultimate frisbee, rafting, stand-up paddling, or any activity you can dream up helps builds team unity http://coachmattlindland.com/2012/04/love-your-team/ (Link) . Physically and psychologically recover from the stresses of training and competing while still maintaining fitness levels is critical for world class athletes. Active rest is a common part of our training plan at Team Quest. (LINK) Follow the www.Coachmattlindland.com blog to see what kind of fun activities we are doing on our active rest days.