The purpose of the off-season is to allow the body to recuperate from the vigorous activities of the season. Ian Thorpe, who is one of the greatest Olympic swimmers in the world, would take a whole year off after the Olympics. However, he would still swim and engage in other physical activities. He would also spend time with his family and friends during the off-season.
There are a number of ways athletes can benefit from taking time away from their sport. Below is an explanation of the critical importance of the off-season for your recovery:
Recover From Muscular And Central Nervous System Fatigue
It is common for athletes to experience muscular fatigue after a competition. Athletes can very easily recognize the signs of muscular fatigue. However, it can be harder for you to tell if you are suffering from central nervous system, or CNS, fatigue. It also takes a lot longer for you to recover from central nervous system fatigue. Muscular fatigue may go away within a few days, but it may take your mind over three weeks to recover. A post-season break will not only allow you to recover physically, but it will also allow you to recover mentally.
Plan Your Year Out Properly
A one-week break simply will not cut it out. You have to give yourself enough time off to recover. It can take up to eight months to completely recover from very strenuous events, such as the Ironman Competition.
Taking some time off from your sport not only allows you to recover properly, but it also allows you to properly plan your year out. Planning your year out is one of the key things you can do to achieve your goals.
Change Your Events With The Seasons
Burnout is something most athletes will experience at some point. However, one of the simplest ways you can avoid burnout is to change your events with the season. Many people who were involved in sports as children played one sport during the summer and another one during the winter. Adults would greatly benefit by structuring their training the same way. Changing activities will allow your body to use new muscles. It will also help challenge you in different ways. Furthermore, it will help freshen up your mind and body.
You can also use the off-season to improve other areas of your life. For example, you can use this time to learn a new skill and spend more time with your family members and friends. If you use this time wisely, you will feel a lot better and will be ready to hit a new peak once you start training again. There is no need to rush to get back into the gym.