How do athletes improve?

As an elite cyclist I am constantly asking myself the question of how I can get faster and fitter. There are thousands of fitness plans on the internet that plan to get you as an athlete faster but one thing they all have in common is recouvery.

When you exercise it stresses the muscles to the point that they mildly break. There is microscopic damage occurring to the muscles– this is why athletes experience sore muscles after intense sessions. The body will then repair the muscles and build them up even stronger so that the can better sustain the effort that damaged them.

What your body repaires with rest

  • muscles
  • nerves
  • bones
  • connective tissue

2017 NCAA DI outdoor track and field championship
s (c)
jenaragon94 – NCAA 2017 CC-BY-2.0

This past week I had a long cycling camp spending many hours on my bike so on Sunday and Monday my coach has prescribed days off. Days off scare me as I don’t want to get any slower but this rest really helps my muscles repair themselves so I’m ready for the next block of training. When you workout it is important to remember to rest as it’s just as imperative as the actual training.

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