Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 127, February 2020 - Page 42

COACHING Rest and recovery are the most important ingredients in a training programme, and your rest day should be considered a training session, just like any session or interval or long run. – BY RAY ORCHISON, CERTIFIED COACH the muscles stronger and equates to faster and improved performances. Determining exactly how much rest you need is a little trickier, as our bodies are unique. As a rule, full rest a week. For some runners, however, two days’ rest is required, and if you are just starting out, rather include two rest days in your week. Also, if you’re getting on in years, accept the fact that your body is not going to heal itself as quickly as that of a 20-year-old, so give your body more time to recover. YOU’LL KNOW WHEN The key is to listen to your body, then you’ll know when it’s time for extra rest – and you gain from rest! The second part of rest is active recovery, when you continue to exercise, but in such a way that you allow the body to continue its healing process. This might entail a swim, bike, gym or aqua-jogging session, where you can continue building endurance or strength, but without using the same muscles over and over. Include one or two of these sessions in your weekly training. adaptation: “In order for training adaptation to take place, the intensity of the physical activity must exceed that to which the individual is already conditioned. The body must receive a progressive and systematic overloading.” In other words, if we are to become stronger and faster runners, we must stress our bodies beyond our current capacity. However, when we do this, we effectively damage the muscles, by creating little micro-tears in them, and if we do not allow these micro-tears to heal, we do further damage the next time we train or compete, which results in decreased performance and injury. Therefore, the key to the principle of overload is rest and recovery, which allows the body time to repair these small micro-tears, which in turn makes Lastly, be careful not to overstress your body. Running hard every day is a sure way to end up injured, or sick, because your body is not given time to repair itself, so alternate hard sessions with rest, active rest or easy sessions. For example, a hard track session on Tuesday would be followed by an easy 5km run on Wednesday, and a hard hill session on Thursday can be followed by a core workout session in the gym on Friday, or a long, slow run on Sunday followed by a full rest day on Monday. About the Author at or Most of know that we should be eating two to three fruit portions per day, but there remains confusion of how to tally up portions, and what exactly counts as a fruit. – BY CHRISTINE PETERS, REGISTERED DIETICIAN T he Department of Health bases its recommendation about fruit and vegetable consumption on a 1990 report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), looking at the amount of fruit and vegetables eaten in regions like Italy and Greece, where high intakes of fruit and vegetables are linked to low rates of chronic disease and some cancers. The WHO thus recommends that 400g of fruit and vegetables should be consumed per day, and to make it There are several reasons that fruits are so important: bowel cancer. • They’re packed with antioxidants that stop free-radicals attacking and damaging our cells, helping prevent health problems like heart disease, strokes and cancer. 42 40 127 FEBRUARY FEBRUARY 2017 2020 / / ISSUE 91 P