Just got back from competing at Oceanias and it was so fun! It was my first international competition in senior but more importantly, my first competition after taking some time off to recover from my injuries. Lately I’ve been dealing with stress and anxiety so I couldn’t be happier that I didn’t let that get in the way of competing.
This post is aimed at those who just got back from Oceanias but also I felt like doing a bit of a personal update on what I’m planning on doing.
First thing I’m doing, is resting. I’m taking 2 complete weeks off from the gym and skating to help the swelling in my ankles go down. This is gonna be great for me as I have a million assignments and tests coming up for uni so it’s perfect timing. I’m only going to be on my skates if I’m coaching. Mentally, taking breaks is a great idea. Even if you don’t want to. It’s so mentally exhausting to be on the go 24/7. It’s better to force some time off so you can come back with excitement and enthusiasm to your trainings rather than being forced to take a break at an inconvenient time because you’re too stressed out and can’t handle it any more. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience here. Taking a week off close to Oceanias is not something I recommend. This is a great way to avoid burning out or getting bored with the sport. Everyone hates skating at some stage but it sucks when good skaters hate it just because they did not take the time off they needed to come back fresh.
This is going to be a bit different to what you expect. Before competing, I know me and a few others cut out “treats” from their diet so they could feel their best on competition day. Well guess what, this is the perfect time to have all the things you missed! Yep! I’m telling you you’re allowed to have some sugar and alcohol (if you’re over 18)! Not in excess but some. (This only goes for those who leading up to competition deliberately cut out fast food, sugar and other stuff). However, don’t make this an excuse for continuing with your bad eating habits. Have your treats and then get back to healthy eating asap so you can feel your best when you start training again. Do you think your diet needs some adjusting? Now is the time to start thinking about what foods are going to allow you to train and compete at your absolute best. Need help? Nutritionists are a great way to get you on track.
So if you’re taking a break, what will you do to recover? If you have injuries or pain, now is the time to visit the physio/doctor/osteopath/naturopath/chiropractor. First thing I did Monday morning was get a neuromuscular massage from the naturopath I’ve been visiting about my tendinitis. But, just because you’re not training doesn’t mean you do nothing. Even though I won’t be training, I may still fit in a few walks and I’ll still be coaching so I’ll be fairly active. I’m definitely going to concentrate on stretching everything out and making sure I improve my flexibility before I go back to training. Nutrition is a huge part of recovery and your muscles and injuries will not thank you if you’re eating crappy food.
It’s not common that skaters get time off. so if you are taking some off, this is the perfect time to start planning ahead. Now is the time to set new goals, plan your trainings and re think your routine (is it working? Do I want a new one? do I have time for a new one?). Maybe you know your off skate training needs some work but you don’t know where the start (hello, I’m right here). Do you need to work on being a mentally stronger skater? Now is the time to start thinking about and practising arousal regulation techniques. Whatever it is you want to improve on, now is the time to plan it. It doesn’t have to be formal planning but having a think about what you want to achieve, who can help you achieve it and communicating that with your coach is a good idea. I’m already planning my first gym workout, what I’m skating to next and what I have to work on!
Hope this was interesting and helped you consider taking a break at some point!