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 is 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.