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Summer detraining: the rest that helps our body and mind to restart

Words Gabriele Ferraresi / LUZ
Summer has a lot of positive aspects, especially for those who do sports and train often, because the body can finally pull your breath: usually in the hot season the frequency of athletic preparation changes.

It's not just in the summer, It’s when we're far from our fitness routine for more time. Christmas or Easter can also be periods when physical activity slows down. Holidays are made to change our habits, and sometimes - a bit like a business trip - it is difficult to maintain the rhythms of training that we keep throughout the rest of the year. Summer detraining is a classic enough fear for sportsmen and women, which deserves to be explored.
Because slowing down a little bit the pace of our training during the holidays could be a great opportunity.

Why does our body have to rest?

Although the human body is a perfect machine It needs to rest, especially after an intense year of training made up of bench seats, races, marathons, early morning wake ups and hours spent in the gym. Resting a little after all this effort is perfectly ok and it's good. Holidays and summer offer us just this possibility, it's up to us to make the most of it with intelligence: in September, and even before, our muscles will thank us and will be ready to resume training at its best.

What is detraining?

But what is detraining? In its original meaning, detraining is the full or partial reduction of our usual physical activity. It can happen not only for the summer holidays, but maybe because the sports season is over, because we had an injury, or because we got sick and had the flu for a few days.

What matters to all sportspeople is that the more we stand still the more the consequences: resistance, strength and mass slowly decrease. However, on a body trained throughout the year, perhaps several times a week, a few weeks of training are enough to lose all the tone, freshness, strength, gained over twelve months? The answer is simple: no.

Taking a few days or even a whole week of total rest from our usual training does not necessarily damage the steps forward that we have made with so much sweat.

The detraining of athletes

Many athletes in fact choose exactly this strategy before the competitions, planning a week off from training every eight or twelve weeks. Marathon runners, for example, choose to reach the limit with athletic preparation about two weeks before the race. The main function of training - in cycling as in any sporting activity - is to stress our body to induce structural changes in muscle and cardiovascular level: because our body adapts, because it changes, it takes time. From four to eight weeks, to see and hear significant results. At least in cycling, it takes the same amount of stopping time to lose everything we had gained with effort and return to the initial conditions.

For cyclists the same thing applies more or less: even for those who choose to pedal the loss of shape is an obsession and summer is a threat. But no, just like every sportsman and athlete, cyclists need to rest from the fatigue accumulated over months. In fact, the progressive reduction of training efforts with tapering is the optimal pre-race strategy even between breakaways, stages and mountain grand prix.

The main function of training - in cycling as in any sport - is to stress our body in order to induce structural changes at muscular and cardiovascular level: for our body to adapt, for it to change, it takes time. From four to eight weeks, to see and feel significant results. At least in cycling, it takes exactly the same amount of time to stop and lose everything we've worked so hard to gain and return to our initial condition.

Group Cycle and indoor training for summer

Upon returning from the summer season, a short indoor ride can help you get off to a good start with your indoor rides during the autumn months, even better if in company. Whether you want to burn calories, prepare races, or keep in shape, Group Cycle Ride is a complete and very realistic indoor cycling experience.

Group Cycle has been designed to make the rider the protagonist of a ride that seems to be set on the road. The transmission system offers a fluid and realistic feeling. If you already know the world of spinning you can only appreciate the evolution of the experience provided by Group Cycle Ride.

One-touch on-the-fly adjustments allow for ideal repositioning of the handlebar and saddle. While the handlebar provides a solid and differentiated grip at the same time. That's why a Group Cycle ride looks so much like a road bike.

But it's not when we train that we grow up: when we train we generate the stress that then, in the moments of rest between one training session and another, our body transforms that stress into something positive. Multiplying this pattern for months and months, or maybe even years of sporting activity, the result is feeling fit, in short, feeling better: but it is the response to rest of our body to make us feel better. All this is valid even if we go to the gym, maybe every day. Among other things, if we frequent it every day - as fitness lovers, not as professional athletes - we could be a bit exaggerating and stop being positive for our muscles and our body.

Turning the perspective upside down, therefore, summer, with its free time and its change in training rhythms allows us to organise a kind of natural, spontaneous tapering. Reduce the intensity of our workouts, to definitively recover the tiredness accumulated in the past year. This is a trick that coaches, for example in the NFL - the US National Football League - know very well, and in fact they advise their players to take a good break at the end of the season. No training, relaxation, maybe some other sport to practice to keep yourself in a decent shape: but better to stay away from scrums and oval ball.

The best thing for everyone, during the summer and at the end of the season, both for the pros and the fans, is to find another sport to be practiced without extremism and with common sense, maybe very far from the one you usually practice.

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