I usually hit the gym for about an hour a day 5-6 times a week. I don’t bike 100 miles or run half marathons weekly, but I definitely get sore after my high intensity workouts (whether it be a 45 minute Flywheel class or a 60 minute Shred415 class). I always feel guilty taking a day off, mainly because I am never sure when enough is enough and my body needs to hit recovery mode.
I came across this awesome article on mapmyfitness.com written by Molly Hurford (a writer for Bicycling magazine). The line that hit home the hardest for me was – ‘While most athletes assume that the time spent in a workout is the hardest part of getting fitter, the act of properly recovering can be harder than the workout itself.’ Who would have thought going home to sit on my couch would be the HARDEST part of getting fit!
Molly interviewed SmartAthlete coach and pro mountain biker Peter Glassford who said if your workout is within your normal catalog, you’d expect 24–48 hours of recovery needed to do another routine at that same level.
It isn’t easy for me to stay out of the gym (especially for 24-48 hours), so I tend to go for active recovery (rather than couch recovery) which means I hit my HIIT class hard, but then try to relax in a yoga class the next day or go for a walk with friends. Recovery doesn’t mean you have to stay out of the gym all together, it just means to TAKE IT EASY.
Additional ways to help with recovery:
- Stay hydrated,even on days off
- Don’t skimp on nutrition because you aren’t training
- Get lots of sleep! (at least 8 hours)
- Get a message
- Try an easy yoga or stretching class
When we allow ourselves to repair THAT is when we get stronger!
Sweat, Review, Repeat – Lindsey