Taking a Training Break

One question I get all the time from my committed and excited athletes, "should I take a break at the end of the season?"

The answer is yes for a few reasons.

  1. Your mental health is important. Be excited to get back into training, because the season is long and we need to remain consistent all year.
  2. Your body needs a break. All season pounding meters when you are tired, and sleepless at 5 am practices. Give it some rest and it will surprise you how fast it bounces back, especially those nagging injuries.
  3. Technique improvements. We often fall into back habits during the season, with a focus on meters and speed rather than the process. So making technique changes becomes harder and harder as the season progresses as bad habits are cemented. Have a clear focus early in the season and carry it through the entire season. Get a lesson with video feedback early on to help you create long lasting technique changes.

I think the optimal amount of time for a break differs between athletes. But on the order of a month out of the water is good. I also like to schedule in week long breaks throughout the season. One around Christmas and another near Easter.

Taking a break from the water doesn't mean you cannot work on your fitness, flexibility or strength. Do some yoga classes, go for a hike with friends/family and enjoy your down time just don't spend a month on the couch!

Happy Training

Mike