As an athlete, the most often-overlooked but absolutely vital elements of competition are rest and recovery. That competitive instinct can kick in to such a degree that you lose sight of your own limits. You can push yourself beyond your limits and end up doing yourself damage if you don’t take the time to rest. This year has been a difficult one for everyone and, despite the fact that four months of it have been spent “locked down” where, in theory, all you have to do is stay home and watch Netflix, for many people this time has presented other, far more strenuous challenges. Mental, as well as physical, this fatigue can grind down a person, which is why I thought it prudent to focus on rest this week.
Rest has always been a vital component in the proper running of your life. You can look back to Biblical times and see that the Sabbath was kept specifically for rest. “What constitutes rest?” I hear you wonder. There’s active rest as well as inactive. It’s relative. I find a helpful definition to be: “think of whatever constitutes “work,” for you, and then don’t do that.” Beyond the Biblical, there are countless tribes and cultures that hold rest in high regard. They understood the power and importance of allowing yourself to disconnect from work and recharge your mind and body.
We live in a society that values work. That is not a bad thing. Without work and effort and a goal toward which they can strive, people can lose focus on life and become aimless. People wear busy-ness as a badge of honour. We do, however, often err on the side of working too much, rather than not enough. Many people struggle to switch off as a result. Taking a day to recover from the daily grind can so often be the cure to mental fog, physical tiredness and general fatigue. The same is true of exercise and athletics.
One of the first things you learn in science class at school is that exercise burns energy (usually carbs), so resting gives the body time to replenish these reserves. With Veloflow, our formula is designed to produce a slow-burn effect and release that energy over a longer period of time, so you can carry on riding far longer than usual. Even if you’re powered by the best, however, that period of recuperation is still absolutely vital. Without it, you risk burn-out or, worse, serious injury as your body struggles to keep up with how far your mind is trying to push it. Be sure to rest and take stock this winter. It is the off-season after all. Time for a bit of a break.