Active Rest versus Non-Training

Every athlete needs an active rest period but NOT a total break from training. Active rest, which can involve other sports and alternative training, can be helpful in small doses with younger athletes and is a must with well-trained high-level track and field athletes.

Here are some considerations to think about when considering non-training periods versus active rest.

One week without training takes two weeks to get back to where you were before that rest.

In the book “The Outliers” a case is made for someone with high ability toward a skill to master that skill takes 10,000 hours. Can we afford a total rest period?

Active rest keeps the body fresh and in a well trained state.

Sample active rest for track and field athletes:

Runners: biking, swimming and rowing

Field events: basketball (1/2 court), racquetball and tennis

The alternative skills might be at a low level but a break from highly competitive movements are a positive change for a few days.

Active rest periods for a few days is best between high level training periods of 3-6 weeks and at least  one day off from event specific training should occur every 7-10 days.

written by Digital Track and Field, expert panel of track and field coaches


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