Rest for the Wicked
Written by Tim Spriggs on March 29, 2018
Rest is the most important and most overlooked aspect of training. I am guilty of overlooking rest. When you are passionate about something, you tend to go overboard. This is magnified in competitive athletics. Overtraining is a real thing, despite what so many meathead “experts” will tell you. It’s hard to justify taking a practice or whole day off to someone who is working to get the most out of every second of every day to achieve a goal that can only be achieved in a minuscule window of time.
Personally, I obsess over making the most out of my day of training. I go until the wheels fall off. Recently, I began to take my recovery (almost) as seriously as my training. Whenever I tweak my process, I look at examples of similar behavior in the elite.
The best rest you can get is sleep. This is how much some of the greatest athletes sleep:
Usain Bolt – 10 to 11 hours
LeBron James – 12 hours
Roger Federer – 11 to 12 hours
I’m sure this is almost impossible for people that have to work for a living, but it’s good to know what the best in their respective sports are doing. If sleep isn’t possible, active recovery such as foam rolling and yoga have always done me good. A epsom salt bath doesn’t hurt either.
Don’t go out all night or go completely off course during your off time. Staying up all night is completely counter-productive. And if you add excessive crappy food and alcohol, the damage is magnified. Just because you aren’t training doesn’t mean you are resting. Treat your body well and it will return the favor.