You need rest in your triathlon training to be successful and achieve all your goals. Even professional triathletes need rest during training. I’ve even heard of triathletes trying to maintain 10-12 hours of sleep a night. For most of us, this is not feasible with our family, work and training schedules. I know rest seems counterintuitive for better results. It seems that you should push your body to its limits every day and see your gains come from this type of training. The problem is that before you realize your ultimate potential, you will burn out.
SILENCE AT NIGHT
One of the critical areas of rest is getting enough sleep at night. Triathletes need 8-10 hours of sleep a night. I know, I know, that seems impossible. In fact, with 4:00 a.m. wake-up calls, there never seems to be enough time to sleep. I suggest going to bed as early as possible and avoiding some of the things that keep you awake like TV, Facebook, Netflix, video games, and others. This will support your daily training. If you don’t get enough sleep, you increase your risk of injury and burnout.
REST DURING TRAINING
Triathletes want to train and they want to get better. They strive for more and more training to increase speed and strength. However, sometimes you hit the wall. Many triathletes are Type A people who thrive on a checklist. So if a workout is scheduled for a particular day, they will do it no matter what. So whenever you hit the wall, you might need to take a day off. I’ve found this to be incredibly difficult unless I’m throwing up. However, I know that sometimes I just need to take a day off.
CALM THROUGH PERIODIZATION
You cannot train non-stop for months without experiencing amazing difficulties like injuries and burnout. So you need to identify when a race is approaching and count back from that date and create a 10-12 week training plan. The other time must be spent training at a lower heart rate to develop your aerobic base, work on form and skills, and rest! You need to get some rest in your training outside of preparing for a race. This will help both your mental and physical condition.
If you want to see the big wins in triathlon and come out on top, make sure you get a good rest.
Thanks to Jeff Dowdy