New Year Resolution – Avoid injury and illness in January
With the Christmas and new year period fast approaching, many athletes, organised sports and regular exercisers are planning a few weeks off from there normal routine. A break or a rest is just what the body and mind needs, but..
There is significant risk of injury and illness if you get back to normal training too fast after a break, taper, or time off after injury, and therefore reduced performance can occur. If an athlete completes >80% of planned training weeks in the 6-months before a major championship their chance of reaching their performance goal increases by 7 times. Avoid missing training time to recover after injury from resuming training too quickly. View the study
January is one of the busiest months for injuries as we get back into normal training. Add to this those of us that decide to take up a new activity, or start running again and get fitter in the new year.
Now we have solid guidelines from the Australian Institute of Sport as to the recommended time it takes to return to normal and full training load after a period of rest or a break. This data is based on long term injury surveillance through the Athlete Management System (AMS) combined over 25 or more sports.
You can use this table to work out the recommended time. For example if we plan to rest for 2 weeks (column on the far left of table), and do 40% of our normal training load (choose from the bottom row), it should take a further 2.5 weeks to return to full training load. Therefore, we would be at modified or reduced training for a total of 4.5 weeks.
If you do 60% of your normal training load for the 2-week period, the return to training period is now only 1.4 weeks, a total of 3.4 weeks at modified or reduced training.
The numbers provided in this table are a guideline and make no accommodation for the age of the athlete or prior injuries or risk factors. If you have any questions, or would like some help in planning your return to training and how to monitor it, catch up with one of RHP Physiotherapy’s highly experienced physiotherapists.
Source – Purdam et al. 2015 AIS White paper: Training troughs’ are a risk to performance: Tapering, rest periods, injury/illness; A planning tool to minimize risk of injury/illness during the return to training. Version 1, 23 June 2015.