The desire to succeed can often make athletes to keep pushing their body and mind to train hard, which can become a curse when perhaps they should be taking a break to let their bodies and minds recover properly.
Training hard is important, but it is equally important to ensure that you break from the routine in order to recover better. Taking timely breaks can actually help athletes improve performance in the long run.
It’s no secret that athletes will be competing in events throughout the year and have to be training every day out there. People who are involved in sports don’t just train for the sake of their competition – they live for it, they often dedicate their life toward trying to reach their goal of being the best in their discipline. But training without resting can help this cause?
Contrary to what people think, forcing yourself to take the necessary break from training will not only help you mentally but can actually benefit you physically. Particularly when you are sick. Training and pushing yourself when you have a common cold or another health issue or minor injuries can prolong your symptoms. The wish to succeed and the fear of thinking that you are taking time off will give an advantage to your competitors will stop you from taking a break to heal yourself.
A basic cold such as a runny nose doesn’t require you to break from training. But issues in the upper respiratory tract like sore throat, congestion, cough, body pains require a break. Training when unwell might lead to a severe problem that might keep you off for a much longer time than you think. The trick here is to listen to your body. If you are not feeling well enough, then don’t train.
It is also equally important to rest well after the main event or towards the end of the season. But for how long?
There is no correct answer to this question. It totally depends on which sport you are in and when your next main event is. The elite athletes like Usain Bolt and Mo Farah used to take 4-8 weeks off from training. This was to help them recover from psychological stress.
Elite athletes go through mental issues such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and sleep disorders.
The career span of an athlete is very short, and if they are injured, then this gets even shorter. And for them to make it financially rewarding, the athlete has to be at the top of their game all the time. The stress relating to the competition is huge, and the amount of time spent off the court will define your performance around the year.
‘Take a break’ is a phrase an athlete does not want to hear, we understand. But if you want to keep yourself focused, motivated, and in the right mindset through the year, it will define your longevity in the sport.
If you still are not convinced with taking a full time break from your regular training, you can opt for “Active Break”. During your active break, try to work your body in some different activities. You can do things like taking long walks, swimming, long & easy cycle rides, stretching, rowing and other fun games which will keep fit without having to worry.
Remember, this may be the perfect opportunity for you to try new activities which usually you don't have time for and can afford a break and don't have to be completely inactive.