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Regeneration and Recovery cont…
From a regeneration point of view athletes do not change too much from anyone else. All the same approaches are advisable
With Athletes I would also have periodized regeneration blocks in the season. This is usually at end of season for 1-4 weeks.
Not all Regeneration methods are created equally, much like not all humans are. The key is to find the right kind of recovery/regeneration methods that an athlete responds well to. The same method may have a different effect from person-to-person.
The methods covered below target sympathetic dominance, which occurs in the first stages of overreaching and overtraining. These methods decrease the sympathetic response and increase parasympathetic activity.
Our sympathetic response if our flight or flight response system, where our parasympathetic system is our calmer response. For anyone who has read the brilliant “The Chimp Paradox” then really one could interpret our “Chimp”
as the sympathetic little man on the shoulder where as our parasympathetic little man is more our “Human”. We need our chimp, but we need to keep him on a tight reign too. Training ourselves to us our parasympathetic system more will help us recovery a lot more, especially from difficult or stressful days.
Methods for promoting relaxation and decreased sympathetic activity include:
Active recovery—avoid high Heart Rate and high CNS (Central Nervous System) demand;
Soft tissue therapy—low-intensity relaxation techniques
Hot water therapy—full body immersion, at or below 102˚F, 5-25 minutes (hot tubs etc)
Floating/swimming—10 feet deep minimum, 10-20 minutes
Mental relaxation—dark, quiet room, 10-15 minutes
Walking in nature, particularly wooded areas
Getting Sea Air
Easy bike riding (ideally away from busy roads)
Swimming at easy intervals
Some forms of acupuncture also can be very effective, but the dosage is important. Can really help very “tight” athletes
Nothing that drives heart rate above 155-160
In part 10 we are going to have a look at regeneration methods for stimulation to get us back closer to ready train or work hard again.