Week 4. The first 'deloading' week of my first training block. But how does it work, those training blocks and deloading weeks? Keep on reading to find out.
Rest to improve
If you want to get better, you need to train more and harder but, and this is what a lot of people forget, you should also rest more. Actually you should rest 'better', but how do you do this? It is fairly simple, you need to take at least one full recovery day each week (more if you are not that used to running yet). On this day you take COMPLETE rest. So no little trips on your bike nor some crunches for your six pack but complete rest. Of course you can go for a little walk, but also not a hike of 16K.
On this day, you allow your body to recover completely of all the trainings and stress. The better you recover, the better you will be able to perform in the upcoming sessions. If you do not believe me, then take a rest day followed by an interval training the next day. You will notice an increase in your speed.
You can choice how long you want to make every block, but I would advise to make every one maximum five weeks. So four weeks of training and one week of deloading (I personally do three weeks of training and one deloading).
In your training blocks it is key to build up progressively, but to make them not too easy too. Therefore knowing your body, your limits and your dedication to your goal is very important to plan accordingly. If you have difficulties with this, I highly recommend contacting a coach who can help you with this.
This might be the most important phase. After giving it your all during your training blocks, it is now time to rest. However, this does not mean that you can sit on your couch for a whole week. Decrease your mileage almost by half (if you train on average 50K a week, you should run 35K in your deloading week), do less intensive intervals and focus more on strength/ mobility training and low intensity trainings.
Hope you find this interesting and that it has made things a little bit more clear.