It’s the middle of summer, and many of us have been away – vacations, honeymoons, work travel. Sometimes life gets in the way of our training regimen and we end up with an extended period where we’re not hitting classes, and maybe not getting any exercise at all. Heck, I myself had a three week hiatus from training this summer!
I know that it can be intimidating to return. You’re afraid you won’t be able to do it, won’t finish the workout, will be way too sore afterwards. So maybe you avoid coming back in, telling yourself you need to, but putting it off till another day? Well here’s a little primer on how to return to training after a break:
1. The first step is just to get your butt in here. We love you. We miss you. Chances are that someone here wants to see you, as I’ve been regularly asked, “Where has (insert your name here) been?” You’ll get smiles, maybe some hugs, people will be happy to see you. Get in your car, or on your bike, or whatever, and just show up at a class.
2. Plan extra time for your warm up. Arrive 10 minutes before class, get a general running or rowing warm up in, then start doing some dynamic stretching. If you’re not sure what stretches to do, ask us. Follow the prescribed warm up, then use the foam roller. A really, really thorough warm up is essential to anyone returning to training after a break.
3. Focus on the strength training portion of the class, not the WOD. Depending on what the strength workouts are the week you return, we may modify the rep scheme or the movements to get your body and brain back into the swing of things. This is not the time to go for any PRs; focus on form. The strength sets will feel good, and will fire up your neuromuscular communication so that by the end, you’ll feel ready to go into the WOD.
4. Take it easy! As I already said, this isn’t the time for try for a strength PR or to up your numbers. And if you happen to hit a named WOD, don’t think you’re going to beat your last time. Do the best you can, but stay focused on treating your body right, not on your score. Once you’re in the swing of things and have attended several classes over a few weeks, you’ll get back to your former performance levels.
5. Plan extra time for your post-workout stretching and recovery. Just as you should come in a little early, plan on staying a little later. Stretch with the class after the WOD, and then spend a little extra time on the areas you know will be or are tight. The foam roller is your friend!
6. As usual, drink plenty of water before and after working out, and avoid inflammatory foods – sugars, grains, alcohol, trans-fats and vegetable oils, maybe dairy or nightshades or any foods you know you’re sensitive to.
Ok? We’ll see you soon.