Whether it is illness, injury or just a break from training, every athlete, no matter how committed, is sometimes forced to take time out from training. A temporary load reduction is sometimes necessary. What do you do when you have to take a break and how does that affect your training?
When to take a break
Theoretically, you don’t have to ever take a break. If you are motivated and healthy, then you can train year-round. An effective periodized training plan will ensure that you consistently make progress this way. This is discussed more in our article The Myth of the Training Break – Training in the off season. The problem is that very few athletes are healthy year round. You are bound to encounter one of the following two things:
Illness – You should not train at all if you are sick. Training when you are sick could weaken your body further and even prolong your illness. If you are sick, you can’t do any useful training work. Concentrate instead on getting better. That is the best thing you can do for your form.
Injury – Injuries come in all shapes and sizes, so it is hard to make any general statements about them. However, it is generally true that you should not train through an injury. Rest and recovery is often the main thing an injury needs. Consult a medical professional to determine exactly how long you need to recover.
Planning a Temporary Load Reduction
A good training plan needs to consider when you take a break from training. Your planned training sessions are obviously canceled but the training after you come back is also impacted. 2PEAK helps athletes record breaks and effectively plan training post-break.
If you need to have a temporary load reduction go to Plan > Adjust Schedule > Temporary load reduction or click here.
Enter the start and your best guess for the end date of your break. The end date can always be adjusted later. Select a strategy for resuming training after a break. This resumption strategy can be to immediately continue training, increase quickly your training volume, increase gradually, or increase slowly.
Which strategy you choose should be determined by your individual situation for why you took the break and when your next goal is. The shorter your break and closer your goal is, the more you should tend towards a fast resumption strategy. The longer your break was further away from your next goal is, the more it makes sense to have a slow resumption of training.
Depending on your past training, goals, length of load reduction etc. the training after a break will need to be adjusted accordingly. 2PEAK will now recalculate your plan and give you the best training for your situation. You can also read more in our article, what to consider when returning to training after a long injury break.