Did you know that recovery time is just as, if not more, important than training? We share the purpose and importance of recovery as well as some ideas for getting the most out of your recovery time.
The purpose of recovery is to allow your body to recuperate its energy store and build your muscles back up to an even better level than before an intense training session. This is an essential part of any athletes’ training schedule to prevent poor-performance and symptoms of fatigue as well as reduce the chances of muscle injury.
MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
Although being determined, motivated and disciplined is vital to success, training harder or more often will not instantly make you a better player. Strong players are healthy players and to ensure your body is functioning at a healthy level it is essential to balance your training and recovery time.
Recovery does not mean just not training, you can actively engage in things that will help your body recover and get the most out of this time, such as:
- Eating recovery foods such as carbohydrates to build up energy again and protein to rebuild muscles.
- Rehydrate your body by drinking fluids and electrolytes.
- Engaging in stretching, breathing and meditation exercises.
- Doing lighter exercises that don’t strain your muscles such as taking a swim or gentle jog.
- Spending time with friends and family.
- Taking time to rest or sleep.
Check out the Junior Springboks Twitter page to see what they get up to in their recovery sessions and how they balance out the seriousness of training with some fun.
YOUR COACH CAN HELP
Coaches play an important role in making sure your team is balancing their training and recovery sessions, and teaching you to know your limits and take time out when you need it. Don’t take this time for granted and make sure you plan it into your schedule even from an early stage in your rugby career. Good habits die hard and you’ll be grateful by the time you reach more advanced levels.