This article was published on September 15th, 2014
As runners focus on their fall racing goals it’s a good time to review the training principles of running, the most important one at the Running Room being, “Stress and Rest”
Stress is another word that can be used for training. In brief amounts, training stress causes a temporary imbalance in the muscular and cardiovascular systems. In response to this imbalance, the body reacts by reestablishing equilibrium and becomes stronger, to protect itself from further imbalance. Over time, the amount of training stress becomes greater promoting further training and growth.
Rest should always be combined with training stress, as repair and reaction to the imbalance can only happen when the body is at rest. The rest period should be long enough to allow almost complete recovery from the training session, but not so long that the training adaptation is lost. When the rest period is too short, or the stress is too great, the body doesn’t have time to repair and adjust, which may cause possible fatigue or injury.
Implementing principles of stress and rest into your program will ensure an adequate training stimulus followed by an appropriate rest period. Even in the early stages of a fitness program, physiological balances can be reestablished in approximately 24 hours.
Practicing the principle of stress and rest will also ensure that the training stress is consistent. If a few days of training are missed, the body may lose some tone and endurance. Consistency also has its rewards. As proper training continues, an individual will develop a solid fitness base. A solid fitness base will ensure that when interruption to training does occur for a short time, loss of fitness will be minimal.
The stress and rest principle of training is the foundation of any training program. Its purpose is to ensure an appropriate amount of training stress and adequate rest periods, resulting in a consistent pattern of exercise.