Recovery Strategy For Athletes

As Masters Athletes we are all too aware that recovery is key, but ensuring this is achieved is often neglected.  And as I refuse to stop training hard, I need to up my recovery game and searching around I came across a great article on the 100 point recovery strategy, and I have tweaked and placed into my own programme now. And I hope you can see the benefit too.

Optimizing Recovery

It has long been recognized that without adequate recovery, an athlete will not achieve his or her full performance potential due to the accumulation of progressive fatigue, often termed overtraining syndrome. Therefore, optimizing recovery is an essential component of the overall training plan. Recovery strategies such as compression therapy, nutrition and hydration, hydrotherapy and water immersion, massage and myofascial release, athlete self-monitoring, and lifestyle factors have been recommended. The purpose of this report is to describe the implementation of a 100-point weekly recovery checklist. Readers are referred to other reviews for aspects of recovery that are not addressed by this report.

100-Point Weekly Recovery Checklist

The 100-point weekly recovery checklist was developed for the Indonesian Olympic Team to use during preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games. The training philosophy employed by the national coaches was that of high volume, which was consistent among the coaches of 16 sports (archery, swimming, diving, taekwondo, boxing, weightlifting, cycling, shooting, indoor volley, beach volley, canoeing, rowing, sailing, tennis, badminton, and athletics). Little emphasis was placed on optimizing athlete recovery, due to a lack of recovery knowledge, facilities, and equipment. The primary goal was to develop a “practical approach to recovery” that could easily be implemented by ATs. A weekly recovery checklist was developed that gave a numerical recovery goal per week (i.e., 100 points) to motivate the athletes to engage in self-initiated, proactive recovery strategies. Proactive recovery has been defined as self-initiated recovery strategies that are a planned and systematic part of the training program. Following consultation with sports medicine clinicians, four proactive recovery focus areas were adapted from the work of Jeffreys and implemented (Table 1). Clinician involvement in the process of selecting the recovery focus areas helped to educate them and facilitated successful implementation of the program.

Numerical Recovery Point Value

The numerical recovery point value for each recovery modality is presented in Table 2. Determination of point value was based on (a) the effectiveness of the recovery modality (research evidence supporting its use) and (b) the level of athlete engagement required for its implementation (self-initiated, proactive recovery). Thus, the numerical recovery point value represents a combination of evidence for modality effectiveness and degree of athlete engagement in implementation.

Checklist Instructions

To reduce the stress/fatigue state and to optimize recovery, the elite athletes were encouraged to achieve 100 points on the weekly recovery checklist. The athletes were encouraged to select two or more daily recovery strategies (Table 2), with strategies from each recovery focus area used at some point during the week. Check- list instructions are outlined in Table 3. An example of how an athlete may implement proactive recovery strategies to achieve 100 weekly recovery points is presented in Table 4.

Conclusion

Optimizing performance requires a balance between stress/fatigue and recovery, which is best achieved when the athlete is proactively engaged in the recovery process. Neural, muscular, substrate, and psychological recovery strategies were utilized to develop a 100-point recovery checklist. A three-part education process (ATs → strength and conditioning specialists → athletes) was found to be effective. The 100-point checklist provides a useful tool for ATs to educate athletes about the importance of post-training and post-competition recovery, and to promote self-initiated, proactive recovery strategies for maximum performance.

 

 

Use this Checklist to make sure you are getting the best out of your training by getting the best out of your recovery

If you’re looking to get some recovery items want to lean more check out my articles:

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