How do we best approach our return to training in order to maximise outcomes without increasing risk of injury and illness
Many of us may have begun our return to training with organised sports, gyms and other activities beginning to open their doors once more. Do you have a plan in place to increase your training progressively? Are you just going back into your usual training without considering if your current physical status is actually the same as what is was pre-COVID19 restrictions?
What is this? Humans adapt to change, both positively and negatively. When we are in a good training space, we become more conditioned and we often feel better physically and mentally. When we stop this for a period of time (it doesn’t have to be a long time either!) we can experience the opposite effects, known as deconditioning. If we return to full training too quickly, our risks of injury and illness increases as our bodies just can’t handle the loads that they could pre-pandemic! It takes a little bit of time to recondition!
Return to training with a plan
Map it out. Many injuries we see through physical activity relate to troughs and spikes in training regimes. COVID19 restrictions as well as the general stresses involved has meant that many of us experience a training trough or decline. The graph below is from a paper developed through the Australian Institute of Sport (Purdam et al, 2015) and shows the estimated time to return to full training following a two or four-week break in training to reduce the risk of injury. This may not be specific for everyone, but can be very useful as a guide.
We must also remember that physical wellbeing is only one part of successful training and competition. We must not forget other factors that effect our wellbeing like stress, poor sleep, alcohol intake, nutrition and so on!
In any case, remember to ease back into training, keep expectations realistic and enjoy the journey!
Of course if your are unsure of how best to approach re-entry into training, please speak with a reputable healthcare provider such as our very own physiotherapists 🙂 . They have the ability to assess your individual risks and provide advice and planning on how to optimally return your training to where you want it to be!
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Purdam, C., Drew, M. K., Blanch, P. D., Champman, D., Gabbett, T. J., Gore, C., … & Raysmith, B. (2015). Prescription of training load in relation to loading and unloading phases of training. Bruce, Australia: Australian Sports Commission.