One Month For Me: a Season of Physical Rest, Mental Preparation, and Spiritual Action
Starting Dec. 14th Ends Dec. 31
SHINE MISSION STATEMENT: TO PROVIDE A SAFE AND POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT WHERE THE FOCUS IS CENTERED ON CREATING STRONG BODIES, HEALTHY MINDS AND BRAVE SPIRITS. WHERE MEMBERS ARE NOT ONLY ALLOWED TO SHINE, BUT ENCOURAGED AND SUPPORTED IN DOING SO – THUS CREATING A BEACON OF LIGHT IN A WORLD OF DARKNESS.
Our seasonal fitness training techniques are designed to help you continue in good lifelong health, move you beyond plateaus, help you side step the effects of overtraining, encourage you to heal and restore, and embrace change as it is a part of nature and life itself. We embrace the idea that we are athletes of life and this is an endurance race we can train and condition for.
The next two articles will help you understand better this philosophy and methodology. Although these are not exact matches to our theory, it will give you a starting place.
Periodization Training for Endurance Athletes
A systematic schedule for peak athletic performance in a specific event
By Elizabeth Quinn
Written or medically reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com’s Medical Review Policy. Updated September 03, 2013.
Periodization training is a systematic training plan used by athletes to ramp up and ramp down training in order to be in the best condition at a target time frame. Each phase may last weeks or months, depending upon the ultimate goal, but the principles of conditioning are followed so that fitness increases but the risk of overtraining or developing an overuse injury decreases.
Periodization training plans can be complex and individually designed, but the basic annual (Macrocycle) periodization phases outlined here can be used by most athletes with some minor tweaking.
- Phase One – Preparation ( This is similar to our Winter Season Part 2)
The goal of the first phase of training is to gradually return a rested athlete to training in a slow, controlled routine. For new exercisers, this phase builds fitness slowly, by performing low-intensity, moderate-duration activities. If you are a seasoned athlete coming off a rest phase, you may have been cross-training (think what we were doing for Fall Programming) and need to slowly return to the activities you’ll be training for in the upcoming season. Easy, moderate sessions that are comfortable and steady are a good way for most athletes to prepare for the season. Walking, cycling, hiking and swimming are all popular options. During this phase you should also get out the calendar and begin to target your competition goals for the year.
- Phase Two – Build Base Fitness (This is similar to our Spirng Season)
The real training begins after about a month of easy preparation. You now focus on improving all the major areas of fitness, specifically cardiovascular endurance and strength. During this phase, which can last for several months, you’ll ramp up your overall fitness, build strength and power, add interval training and do a variety of all-body exercise. This is the phase where you are a jack-of-all-exercises and work on your weaknesses, your flexibility, your balance and develop a solid nutrition plan. Joining a club or team, or working with a coach is great for those who need a specific plan during this phase of training, but many experienced athletes return to their “tried and true” base training routine.
- Phase Three – Build Sports-Specific Fitness (This is Similar to our Summer Season and Fall Season)
The next two months are the time to focus on sports-specific fitness. This is the Principle of Specificity, which implies that to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill. During this phase, you simulate race-like conditions and practice skills needed during your event. You’re body is strong and fit and you can focus on race technique, strategy and mental skills training. You’ll practice skills again and again so they become second-nature and combine them in one coordinated, flowing movement. You may also start competing in “lead-up” events to get used to actual competition and race-day conditions. More »
- Phase Four – Tapering (This is similar to the end of our Fall Season)
Tapering refers to a decrease in training volume in the week or two prior to major athletic competitions. According to research, the ideal tapering strategies include a drastic decrease in training volume, but adding short, high intensity interval training sessions leading up to the competition. The guidelines include:
- decreasing your training volume (mileage) by 80-90 percent
- decrease your frequency of training (number of workout sessions) by 20 percent
- for events lasting an hour or less, use a one-week taper
- for events lasting more than an hour, use a two-week taper
- Phase Five – Peaking (This is also in our Fall Season but we use peaks within each season)
“Peaking” refers to an athlete being in the absolute best condition (physical, emotional and mental) at a specific time for an event or race. The peaking phase of periodization training can last one to two weeks and is the ultimate payoff for the periodization training program. After the Taper phase, most athletes will find that their fitness is at the maximum for a period of one to four weeks, depending upon how they spend that time. If you have a long season (soccer or football) you will need to create smaller rest/work phases during the active season. For example, if you compete each Sunday, Monday will be a recovery day, building back up by Wednesday and Thursday and tapering again on Saturday.
- Phase Six – Rest and Recovery (This is similar to Winter Season Part 1)
After you’ve peaked and raced, you’ll need to plan for a certain amount of rest and recovery time. This phase can last from one week to two months depending upon the intensity and duration of the competition or season. It also depends on how fit you are overall. A novice marathon runner may need more rest than an experienced runner who completes several marathons each year. Even if you feel fine physically, you need to allow yourself some mental down time as well. This is critical to help reduce the risk of overtaining, burnout, injuries and depression. This is a great time to cross train or just kick back and let your body relax. I find yoga is a perfect activity to do during my recovery phase.
American College of Sports Medicine, The Team Physician and Conditioning of Athletes for Sports: A Consensus Statement, 2000. [http://www.amssm.org/MemberFiles/tpccs103101.pdf] Last accessed Dec 2010 online at The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) [http://www.amssm.org/].
The Benefits of Rest and Recovery After Exercise
Why Rest Days Improve Sports Performance
By Elizabeth Quinn
Written or medically reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com’s Medical Review Policy. Updated August 27, 2015.
Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance, but many still over train and feel guilty when they take a day off. The body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes.
Rest days are critical to sports [and LIFE] performance for a variety of reasons. Some are physiological and some are psychological.
Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals.
What Happens During Recovery?
Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss.
Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of overtraining often occur from a lack of recovery time.
Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others.
Short and Long-Term Recovery
Keep in mind that there are two categories of recovery. There is immediate (short-term) recovery from a particularly intense training session or event, and there is the long-term recovery that needs to be build into a year-round training schedule. Both are important for optimal sports performance.
Short-term recovery, sometimes called active recovery occurs in the hours immediately after intense exercise. Active recovery refers to engaging in low-intensity exercise after workouts during both the cool-down phase immediately after a hard effort or workout as well as during the days following the workout. Both types of active recovery are linked to performance benefits.
Another major focus of recovery immediately following exercise has to do with replenishing energy stores and fluids lost during exercise and optimizing protein synthesis (the process of increasing the protein content of muscle cells, preventing muscle breakdown and increasing muscle size) by eating the right foods in the post-exercise meal.
This is also the time for soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) repair and the removal of chemicals that build up as a result of cell activity during exercise.
Getting quality sleep is also an important part of short-term recovery. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, especially if you are doing hard training. Long-term recovery techniques refer to those that are built in to a seasonal training program. Most well-designed training schedules will include recovery days and or weeks that are built into an annual training schedule. This is also the reason athletes and coaches change their training program throughout the year, add crosstraining, modify workouts types, and make changes in intensity, time, distance and all the other training variables.
Adaptation to Exercise
The Principle of Adaptation states that when we undergo the stress of physical exercise, our body adapts and becomes more efficient. It’s just like learning any new skill; at first it’s difficult, but over time it becomes second-nature. Once you adapt to a given stress, you require additional stress to continue to make progress.
There are limits to how much stress the body can tolerate before it breaks down and risks injury. Doing too much work too quickly will result in injury or muscle damage, but doing too little, too slowly will not result in any improvement. This is why personal trainers set up specific training programs that increase time and intensity at a planned rate and allow rest days throughout the program.
In general, one or two nights of poor or little sleep won’t have much impact on performance, but consistently getting inadequate sleep can result in subtle changes in hormone levels, particularly those related to stress, muscle recovery and mood. While no one completely understands the complexities of sleep, some research indicates that sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), decreased activity of human growth hormone (which is active during tissue repair), and decreased glycogen synthesis.
Balance Exercise with Rest and Recovery.
It is this alternation of adaptation and recovery that takes the athlete to a higher level of fitness. High-level athletes [Individuals] need to realize that the greater the training intensity and effort, the greater the need for planned recovery. Monitoring your workouts with a training log, and paying attention to how your body feels and how motivated you are is extremely helpful in determining your recovery needs and modifying your training program accordingly.
Winter Training Part One:
Okay so we are starting the Sixth phase of training and we have planned that to be Part One of our Winter programming. We feel it’s a natural place as the nature of Winter is a time for rest. The part two of Winter programming is in reality Phase One of training, or Preparation.
As it mentions in the article you do need a plan for your rest cycle. That’s where I come in. :)!!!
Even if you have trained with us for the Fall season alone. Those thirteen weeks merit a physical break. Three weeks is totally reasonable. If you have trained all year you definitely need the break. Remember here that we are taking a different mindset toward reaching or enriching a Healthy life style. We want to think in terms of training and nutrition not diet and exercise.
Let’s break down your time.
First plan to exchange out one activity for another during the time you would be training at the gym.
Second be mindful of your nutrition. Eat balanced and keep your overindulgences for another time.
Third make some goals for yourself for the month. Things that you would not normally get done or have never done before.
Here is a check list of ideas you can utilize in many ways.
What to do with DOWNTIME!!!
Videos to Discover:
Hatha Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Health – 57 minutes Pain Discomfort Stress Relief:
Detox Yoga | 20 Minute Yoga Flow for Detox and Digestion
lululemon: Detox Flow with Clara Roberts-Oss
Morning Routine | The Yoga Solution With Tara Stiles
Short Articles to peruse:
Common Mistakes in Sun Salutaions
How to Use Yoga blocks
26 Amazing Benefits of Yoga
10 Best Alkaline Foods
Top 20 Artery Cleansing Foods
Try some self guided yoga. Here a few tables of moves to get you started.
- Why are you taking three weeks off?
- What do you think you need to know about yourself going into this month?
- What is scary about making this commitment? What is hopeful about making this commitment?
- What kinds of things do you feel sorry for yourself about? How will you spend your time today thinking about yourself?
- What is your soul going to get out of this?
- What will your body get out of this for physical goals for this month?
- What will your mind get out of this month?
- How will this affect my living in the long run? Do I see myself trying this again down the road?
- What do you know about self control and endurance? How are these qualities being implemented thus far?
- How can integrity help you through today? Why is integrity important?
- How does the Savior make up for what you lack? When you fall short how do you pull yourself up again?
- How does service bless you in time of weakness? How does it make you stronger?
- Take an attitude in action check? Are you positive or negative about this process? Why?
- Where are your insecurities? How can letting go of pride help you become more today?
- Half way point. Assess your overall take on what is happening so far?
- Gratitude. What blessings are happening in your life?
- What does living in the moment mean to you?
- Think about who you imagine yourself to be. Who are you becoming?
- What blessing have come to you for resting, restoring, and being mindful of what you eat?
- Today is about forgiveness. What do you need to let go of? Who do you need to forgive?
- List your weaknesses
- List your strengths
- Compare your lists. How can you make your weaknesses strong?
- What inspires you for good?
- What inspires you negatively?
- Compare 24 and 25 lists. What is your perspective on about those lists?
- What things can you do to change for the better?
- What questions do you have about your future?
- Where do you see yourself a year from now?
- Take what you have learned from this month and write a summary acknowledging how you plan to use what you have learned for your life in 2016.