All coaches have different approaches to rest and recovery, but they are united in agreement that recovery is essential to training. Athletes – it’s part of the reason to have a coach that is watching over you. It is our job to get you to the starting line of your races as prepared and as healthy as possible! If you do nothing but smash yourself with workouts, at some point, your body will let you know with an illness or an injury. One of the biggest responsibilities as a coach is to watch out for training stress, work stress, life stress, relationship stress, even fun stress – to help you plan around it so your training can continue without interruption. And the key is: BALANCE.
We are not here to be the No Fun Police when you sign up for three marathons in five weeks, having never run further than four miles in your life. We don’t like it when we have to harsh your social media brag style by letting you know that it’s not always a great idea to run 50 miles the day before your first ironman. We’re here to help you chase the things that you want – whether that is fun with friends, racing new distances, or shooting for a big PR. And we are always going to be watching out for the amount of stress that your training and racing schedule is applying.
Does that mean that your coach is always going to shake their head when you want to do a crazy event with your friends, or try piling up new distances? Of course not! But aligning race-day-expectations with training-and-life-stress realities is part of the ongoing conversation between any athlete and any coach. We love us some smashfests! Bring on the 50 mile run, or the 100×100, or the marathon mania. But let’s work together to make sure that you are prepared going in and recover properly coming back out.
What’s the best way to help your body prepare and recover? Embrace the rest days and the recovery workouts. Give your body the time and space to refill. Let your easy runs be SO VERY EASY! Rock that 45 watt easy spin or that 30 minute flop swim. These workouts are actually when you are giving your body time and space to recover, which directly contributes towards building your fitness forward.
Bottom line: you hire a coach because you have goals that you want to reach, and your coach wants them too! Take your recovery and your rest seriously, and you’re one step closer to reaching those goals.