For athletes who have a peak of competitions over the summer months, this can be the time of year for a rest period before commencing on a BASE Phase of training.
Rest periods and holidays are important within the cycles of training as well as within the year as a whole. Rest days or active recovery days should be included in the microcycle (the shortest training cycle in the training process which is typically a week as that fits in best with our usual work/school week). These are required as the body physically needs time to rebuild and repair after periods of training. If this is not included then, rather than an improving level of fitness, athletes may plateau or hit a problem with over-training and a decrease in fitness and ability. After an intense season that includes major competitions, a complete break for a couple of weeks from the main sporting focus can be mentally beneficial and often athletes then return to training feeling fresh and ready to focus on the upcoming sporting year. A short break of 2 weeks will not have a significant impact on overall fitness!
Base Phase of training is a period of time where athletes typically return to focusing on their endurance with longer sessions at a steady pace of running / cycling. The duration and pace of these sessions should be based on previous levels of fitness (ideally with Heart Rate Zones being used as guidance). This phase is also an ideal time for addressing any injury issues – resolving any small issues before they progress to a more limiting injury or focusing on rehab to fully recover from any current injuries in order to allow progression to full fitness and maximise performance potential.
So if any niggles or injuries require addressing, now is a good time to get them assessed and a treatment plan in place. 🙂