You do not get the benefits of training from the training. You get the benefits of training from the recovery afterwards.
Training is simply a stimulus for the body to respond to. Training actually breaks down the muscle, injuring and micro-tearing the muscle fibres. The intensity you train at and the current state your body is in determines how much ‘muscle tearing’ and injury there is. This is a stimulus for your body to allocate resources to repair the injured muscle back to where it started. Furthermore, the body knows that if you do something once, you will probably do it again, so it sends extra energy to not only repair the body back to ‘normal’ but, to make it fitter and stronger and so perform better the next time it is needed. This is called Supercompensation.
Supercompensation: The reason for training – to recover to a state where you perform better than you did before training.
Elevated heart rate
Change in personality
Illness – immune system compromised
Lack of motivation
Not progressing in training programme
Pulse test: take your pulse (resting heart rate) each morning at the same time.
Measurement: find your pulse, time 15 seconds and count your beats, starting with zero, then times your number of beats by four to get your beats per minute (BPM).
Assessment: Identify an average and if it is elevated on any one morning by say, ten beats or more, you need to rest.
See resources for a downloadable Daily Exercise Readiness Questionnaire.
Conversely, under-training, although a better option than over-training, will not give you the results you desire. This is generally due to too long a time period between training sessions but could also be not working hard enough in training sessions, not using variety to challenge the body, not using proper periodisation techniques.
Rest / rest times will vary for each individual and will have the following variables:
Starting point – the state your body is in: includes posture, stage in training programme, core support.
Training – load, intensity, density, technique.
Rest – quality and length/time.
For more information refer to our Ski Fitness book.