This article is about recovery after a kiteboard session, gym training, other sports and how to combine it. It's very important that your body gets to recover after any kind of session before doing some physical activity again to avoid injury, but also to get in better shape in general.
"How long should I wait before doing a new training session?"
I've been asked this question about a 1000 times and probably gave at least 500 different answers on it. Because it depends on who you are, you training history, your injury history, what shape you in and what kind of training you're doing now. And for kiteboarders it also depends on how powered you're riding and the type of tricks you're doing. So just by these parameters you have 5.040 different ways of prioritizing and when trying to include sub-parameters like variations in exercises etc., I would guess there is over a billion combos/answers. So you see; no easy answer there ;)
Resting is just as important as training. And this is (in my opinion) often the reason why some of the pros get hurt. Of course every one can have bad luck, but tired muscles, tired ligaments, tired bones just break easier. From what I heard about Kevin Langerees knee injury and how it happened, I would say it was caused by not enough rest. In all other sports at that level, with that high intensity in training load, it is crucial to have longer resting periods. Every 5-6 weeks athletes should at least have 5-6 days of rest, a "recovery cycle". And athletes often feel that they grow more in strength during this resting period than during the in the high intensity cycles. That just tells you how important resting is...
Check out how I planned the training for John Perry, click here. And remember; this is for a trained athlete, so don't copy/paste... ;)
Supercompensation is basically what we mean, when we say "recovery". Because it's not just about recovering - it's about getting stronger.
Supercompensation is the state, where your body has recovered and has gotten stronger. The graph to the right tells the story...
When you start your workout or a session on water, that equals "stimulus". This load will break down the muscles, ligaments and bones. And at the end of a session the body will start to repair these damages; recover. After the recovery process the body will compensate for the earlier damages and become stronger. This is what training is all about...
If you get fatigued (training too much over longer period of time or just one day where you really burn yourself out) you end up getting nowhere and you can even end up hurting yourself. A small amount of training gives you a little supercompensation and the "perfect" amount gives you a great supercompensation. But only if you time/plan the next training right. You should begin your next session at the point of B. On the water or off the water. Doesn't matter what kind of training it is.
If you do some kind of training 2-3 days in a row, your body will handle that as one training session if it is not too intensive. So it's possible to do that, if you rest for a longer period afterwards. You will stretch out the curve, if you do that.
The next graph shows you 3 different scenarios. (time line has been blacked out, because it varies from intensity etc)
a. This is a person who does physical activity too often. He starts training or is hitting the water for a kiteboard session, before he is totally recovered and misses out on the supercompensation and his shape is actually decreasing. And that will lead to injuries or even severe fatigue/over training (stress like state with great risk of depression, injuries and stuff like that)
b. This is the perfect scenario, where the athletes/kiteboarders grows in strength all the time. But then again muscles, ligaments and bones do not recover at the same paste. So even though you feel, you have a great rhythm in your training and you're getting stronger, you still have to have "resting cycles" every 5-6 weeks in order to fully recover! Otherwise you'll have a much higher risk at getting injured. And this is (in my opinion) where many pros are risking their career and health due to these kind of fatigue injuries. A blown out knee is very typical for this.
c. This is status quo. This is probably where most kiteboarders are at for several reasons:
1. They are not training or hitting the water often enough to get the benefit of the supercompansation
2. They are doing the same workout routine in the gym or the same thing on the water all the time. The body has a tendency to "get used" to repeated patterns/stimulus and then it doesn't have any real effect anymore. That is why we do variations in training. This keeps us from hitting "the plateau", where nothing really happens even though, we do everything else correct. This is also the reason why just kiteboarding a lot is not the answer, if you want be the best that you can be.
And a,b,c and are actually the whole reason why I build this site. In an un-organized sport like kiteboarding, compared to almost any other sport, athletes are still left to themselves to plan their training. And that would be an outrage in other sports, but kiteboarders doesn't really recognize to great potential in planning training the right way both for avoiding injuries, but also very much for progressing their physical shape and thereby their performance on the water.
Timing is everything
On this graph you can see estimated time periods for different kind of training regarding supercompensation. I would estimated kiteboarding to be somewhere between "Intensive Aerobic Work" and "Strength Training / Competition". If you're riding powered and throwing unhooked tricks, you are placed in the far right side of the scale. And if you're goofing around or doing less powered hooked tricks you're placed in the left side of the scale.
And as I stated before, it is very important to keep this in mind. You can go kiteboarding 3 days in a row, but then you should also rest for a couple of days afterwards. An remember; on the 3rd day of kiteboarding, your body will be broken down and you can't expect the same power in your movements and you'll have a higher risk of injuries. Even though your body feel healthy and you're full of energy.
General physical shape matters
The graph to the right is relative. This means that is most correct for kiteboarders in a pretty good shape. But if you're younger and have build up a great physical shape during several years (like a typical pro athlete), the load on the body isn't the same. The body of a kiteboarder/athlete in great shape will not get the same stimulus/stress on the muscles by a hardcore freestyle session. They might be ready again after 30 hours. But believe me; no one can give a 100% everyday. This will lead to injuries, over training, fatigue, depression and stress. So no one can skip out on "resting cycles". Actually they become more and more important the more you're training/kiteboarding.
Age also matters
Young (in my terms less than 26-28 years old) recover much faster. When I was 27, (I'm close to 33) I could kite everyday and still play soccer 3 times a week and go to the gym 5-6 times a week (with resting periods strategically planned at the right time). But my life was also build up around health, training and sports, and my physical shape was equal to an top athlete. I can't do that anymore. I'm hitting 33 in a couple of days and there is a physical reason why athletes tend to peak at 28 years physically. Even if I had tried to keep my workout routines and kept doing all my sports up till now, it wouldn't have been physical possible without getting fatigued or injured.
An get the complete kiteboarding training guide here for free, click!
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