So you just finished up with your competitive season or your big competition. You might be happy or you might be sad with your finish, but likely you are tired and more so a little bit beat up. When you finish up an intense training cycle with a hard competition it is important to take some time to ease back and rest. This doesn’t mean take it easy for the rest of your life, but instead for a little bit (one week to maybe a month). Here are a few things to do in order to help yourself recover:
Take some time off from your sport, but not necessarily from everything. This is the time to play a sport or do an activity that you like to do, but your hard training made it so you didn’t have the time. Be sure to pick the exercise that is not going to beat you up. Meaning you just finished with your football season so you are going to go play rugby as active rest. Instead think of this like going hiking, playing some basketball, or bike riding. Just go out and have fun and be active that will do wonders for still keeping you in good shape, but not stressing you in the same way you have for months.
If your competition is over, it is time to get patched back up. See your athletic trainer, physician, or start doing some self-study to start working on the areas that are beaten up. This is the time to use your extra recovery abilities to help fix your weak points, and not induce more damage in areas that may or may not be holding you back currently. Don’t be afraid here to really just do a full body diagnostic here to see what might be tight or beat up, but wasn’t even on your radar.
You might have had to make weight for your competition, so now is the time to start eating a bit more. Perhaps you were having to eat like crazy to keep your weight up during a grueling competitive season, so now start trying to cut back a bit on the calories. Don’t worry about going to crazy, but now that things are quiet (or at least quieter) take the time to make the best nutritional decisions you can to help your body recover.
Weak point work
Now that you know how your season or competition played out, start working on the elements of your sport that held you back the most. This might be working certain sports skills more, this could be training up more strength or endurance. Take this time to learn how to attack your weaknesses and/or start improving them.
At the end of a hard training cycle it is important to take a moment to reflect and relax. If you constantly push hard with no end in sight you are more than likely to just burn yourself out. Listen to your body and figure out what you can do to make yourself better in the future and fix any issues you have created from the training you just survived. As always if you have any questions of anything you want me to write more about please just leave a comment.