Over the years, training more, training longer and harder has been the main recipe for elite athletes and coaches to keep improving and get ahead of the opposition. For those interested in finding out how much and how hard elite athletes actually train, just have a look at my past posts entitled Swim training camps, Athletes and coaches on a mission, or my recent publication Olympic preparation of a World-class female triathlete.

But some of us do not view training just as the time an athlete is exercising physically and mentally, but as a cycle that includes both, the time of exercise and the time needed to recover from and assimilate the stimuli provided by the exercise. In other words, training is a cycle including training time and recovery time. In the past decade or so, the importance of recovery for elite sports performance has been widely recognized, and reference training centers and sport federations have invested significant financial resources in recovery facilities and expert personnel. Such facilities usually include cold and hot water pools and baths, as well as relaxation areas, and recovery experts continuously emphasize the importance of sleep for recovery, as you can see in my post Sleep, the key to recovery and training adaptation.

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