Rest and recovery during training

Articles > Rest and recovery during training

Lots of athletes train often twice a day or even more, or regarding training volume more than 3 hours a day. Under conditions like this the time for recovery in order to allow adaptation processes to occur, is often limited and athlete may feel fatigued. One of the most common misunderstanding is that fatigue must be the consequence of each training. This is wrong. A good training program is a combination of high load trainings followed by easy trainings to allow recovery processes to occur. Longer periods of fatigue may take an athlete to chronic fatigue or overtraining syndrome that must be avoided during training process. Coaches and athletes themselves should look for methods that allow athletes to overcome the limits of training and increase performance. Proper recovery accelerates the regeneration between workouts, decreases fatigue and enchances supercompensation.  Nowadays it becomes more and more evident that it is not difficult to train hard, but the key is how to make recovery more effective. Therefore philosophically, there is no too high training load if you know how to recover from it properly. In order to avoid training load being too high a coach or an athlete must carefully monitor training process.

The time needed for recovery is different for activities or processes (according to Bompa 1999):

Process Minimum Maximum
Restoriation of muscle ATP 2 min 3-5 min
Repayment of alacticid oxygen debt 3 min 5 min
Repaynment of the laciacid oxygen debt 30 min 1 hour
Restoriation of muscle glycogen
After intermittent acitvity
(ca 30 min of ca 85% HR)
2 hours to restore 40%
5 hours to restore 55%
24 hours to restore 100%
After prolonged nonstop activity
(> 60 min of ca 85% HR)
10 hours to restore 60%
48 hours to restore 100%
Removal of lactic acid from the muscle and blood 10 minutes to remove 25%
25 minutes to remove 50%
1 hour 15 minutes to remove 95%

Reference: Bompa T. Periodization. Theory and methodology of training. Human Kinetics, Chicago, IL. 1999.