Burnout and Resetting - Stages of an Athletes Recovery
The burnout stage is a consequence of prolonged body stress without appropriate intervals for recovery. This may result in a physical as well as psychological breakdown. There are ample source of stress, resistance exercise is popular among athletes. The idea is to put stress on your body in order to stimulate adoption of the elevated stressors which in turn helps improve performance.
Intensity of a training session is linked to fatigue and in order to overcome that fatigue, appropriate recovery time is required. It is vital to understand how much your body can push training and when do need to back off to get proper recovery.
Balancing the physical level of stress is very important, if you don’t place enough stress your performance won’t improve. However, if you over train and put excessive stress on your body, you will enter a state of burnout.
Factors Influencing Athletic Performance
There are five main factors which may affect the performance of an athlete. Thus when deciding a recovery technique, an athlete should make sure to address to all of these factors.
• Training and competition. The degree to which it may affect an athlete will depend on the duration, volume, degree of fatigue, intensity and recovery period from previous competition/training
• Environment. Altitude, temperature and humidity will affect the performance accordingly.
• Health. Muscle damage and soreness, illness, injury and infection.
• Psychological stress. Anxiety and stress form competition.
• Lifestyle. Job, schooling and/or housing situation, amount and quality of sleep, relationship with friends, family, coaches and team members, leisure activities.
• Nutrition. Protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients, balance of electrolytes and fluids.
A vast variety of methods are employed by athletes to boost their recovery. However the effectiveness of each method will depend on the activity undertaken by each athlete. The most famous and affective recovery techniques are discuss below
1. Recovery food
Sports scientists disagree over many issues; recovery diet was something everyone came to a consensus about. Despite of the type of exercise undertaken by the athlete, every athlete needs to consume 0.8 grams of carbohydrates combined with 0.2-0.4 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds worked on.
Experts have contradiction over the timings of intake of recovery food. However, nutritionists recommend intake of meals 30-45 minutes following the exercise. If you wait longer, it will become difficult to prevent cortisol production in your body, it is a hormone developed trough exercising which causes muscles to deteriorate.
Even a protein bar and a Gatorade can help release muscle soreness. However, recovery meals don’t need to be processed; recovery food can be a lot more beneficial if it is fresh.
Top Ten Recovery Foods:
• Hot chocolate, for instant recovery
• Pasta, popular among mountain bikers, combines protein and carbs
• Chicken fried rice, to refuel after a long workout.
• Turkey, to add muscle mass
• The powder smoothie, popular among traithletes to add muscle mass
• Chili, best for gluten free competitors
• Honey, finest for soothing muscles
• Banana and coconut, to avoid cramps after workout
• Turmeric and ginger, best for post workout muscle soreness, has anti-inflammatory properties
• Salmon, for a long and slow endurance recovery
2. Warm up and Stretch
Stretching has become very popular in the modern world of sports, stretching helps recovery even if it is done after the workout or during rest days. Our muscles shorten and contract when we workout, post workout stretching will insure length and motion of the muscles. A dynamic stretching routine should be adapted for pre workout stretching. As far as stretching for recovery is concerned, it is recommended to increase the core temperature of the body with light exercises like jumping jacks or jogging followed by a static stretching routine.
Recovery takes time and thus getting the right amount and quality of sleep is vital. Its helps boost performance to a great extent.
Proper intake of water is vital for athletes; the recommended quality is 8oz of water every 13-14 minutes. There are many recovery drinks available but water is the best for doing the trick. Even during the rest days, proper intake of water should be of concern since it helps keep the muscles loose and flushes out the toxins.
5. Active release technique and self myofascial release
This is basically foam rolling which is done using massage tools like the stick, theracane or a lax ball. When a muscle stretches within close proximity of the injury, the Golgi tendon organ (GTO) relaxes the muscle spindles. ART technique helps in fixing the swelling of dissipating scar tissue and adhesion of soft tissues.