The term "HARD" is frequently used with describing Training, Methods of Training, Trainers or Trainees.
Seldom is "Recovery" described as hard.
In fact, it is not uncommon that Recovery is considered as "Soft", and of course this would be avoided by anyone "Hard".
I am here to say "Workout Hard, Recover Hard"
Allowing appropriate time to recover is "HARD" Recovery. Schedule days of Recovery. Not just days in the week, but consecutive days in the week. Would you dare have 3 to 4 days of consecutive Recovery? I recommend this with advanced programs where it is also possible to complete 3 to 4 days of consecutive training.
It is important to consider that these "Recovery" days are full of appropriate activities, such as flexibility, massage, physiotherapy and must not include anything that may delay "Recovery" such
as an overly long but low intensity bike ride.
One simple way to measure effectiveness of recovery days is by regular documentation of Heart Rate (HR), when taken first thing out of bed in the morning.
I am including both food and drink.
"Hardness" with nutrition is about the discipline of eating and drinking the right things at the right times.
Developing a "Nutrition Plan" is helpful, to allow for the demands of exercise and recovery as well as "normal"
A recovery method that is physically hard. Although can be strangely satisfying once completed?
Ice is not always available, but cold water in a bath can do the trick!
Check out the website of Australian Institute Of Sport for a variety of protocols.
Another recovery method that may be considered "Soft". The truth is the opposite. You are definitely "HARD" if you have a quality
sleeping program. A sleep diary together with HR documentation can provide evidence of effectiveness.
It is important to accept the variables with sleeping routines. It is not necessary to have identical hours every night for a
quality sleeping program. For example, Pre and Post Event sleeping hours are can be very short due to anxiety or hormonal inbalances and these are balanced with longer hours in the total weekly
Massage can be considered soft.
Remedial Massage is "HARD".
There is no problem fitting massage onto this list. From the physical aspect as well at the hardness required for the discipline to maintain a regular program.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Gaggini is founder of Adelaide Cycling Academy and owner of Infuga Retreat. As a cycling coach Robert brings years of experience to a wide range of Cycling Activities.
Winner of multiple cycle races including Mt Gambier 100mile classic 2005, and Alphutte 2003, (4th in 2012). Participant in a variety of endurance events including Paris-Brest-Paris, and is a 40km per day commuter for over 20years.
If you require any assistance with training plans, cycle coaching or if you just want to ride faster, Robert is happy to assist.