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Resting and Recovery … benefits of taking a break

As many of you might be aware, I did a triathlon last weekend which I am still feeling very pleased with myself and the achievement. Here is link to last week’s blog about the journey.

After six months of focused training, consistent attention and much energy and effort, not to mention the actual effort on the day, my coach told me to take a week off and rest. The idea of taking time off after training so hard felt, well, uncomfortable. Can any of you relate to that? It was as if I didn’t know what to do with myself when I would normally be out training.

Regardless of how robust your body may be, how strong and able you might be, the body still needs to rest and recover. Much like periodization training whereby you have a couple of hard/challenging weeks and an easier week to recover, before continuing on and become even stronger, faster and fitter. Yet once you have achieved your goal, it is always a good thing to give yourself a bit of a break.

From a physical perspective, it gives your body time to recover. If there are any niggles, weaknesses or sore spots, a rest allows the body to heal and rebalance itself. From a psychological perspective, it gives your mind a break from that focus as well as all the self-discipline required to achieve what you have achieved.

It is almost like a gift to yourself and to allow yourself to rest and take that break. By allowing yourself to take a break, you are rewarding yourself for all that effort you have put into things. It also helps for you to make some space to acknowledge all that you have done to get to where you are. So often, people work hard to achieve a goal, achieve it, and then move quickly on without acknowledging or celebrating the achievement. A break gives you space to acknowledge and celebrate!

A break also means that when you embark on your next challenge, you will likely feel more refreshed and ready to go rather than simply moving on to the next thing without much thought. Ideally, you should be charged up and excited about your next challenge rather than dragging yourself from one thing to the next with little energy.

For me, my next challenge is a 5K swim in September! Can’t wait!!

Point to Ponder: When was the last time you took a break from focused effort? Do you need a break now? How will taking a break help in other areas of your life?

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