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How to Train on a Deadline

Recovery is never as important as it is when you’re facing a tight deadline, whether you’re training for a wedding, vacation or reunion. Along with your mindset, nutrition and movement, recovery plays a vital role during these times. But it’s easy to disregard.

Consider the ultimate deadline for football players: NFL Combine. Athletes have roughly six weeks to prepare for a series of tests and physical measurements that will play a big role on where they’re chosen in the NFL draft. That, in turn, dictates how much money they’ll receive, which determines how much time a team will remain patient with them, and go a long way to determining the length of their career. No pressure there. Is it any wonder that players in this situation are inclined to train as hard as possible? Recovery doesn’t seem that important. But, in fact, it’s crucial.

Keep your recovery prominent under a tight deadline. Here are three things you shouldn't ignore:

1. Sleep

When things get busy, sleep tends to suffer. This is not the time for that. Sleep is when your body repairs itself. So if you’re spending more time training, cut back in other areas before restricting sleep. In fact, try to boost your sleep during this period. Ditch the late-night television and go to bed at 10 (or earlier) instead of 11 (or later).

2. Clean Eats

In “normal time,” it’s easy—if not permissible—to follow the 80/20 rule, eating clean 80 percent of the time. When you’re training this hard for a short-term goal, there might be a tendency to let the nutrition slide. After all, you’re training really hard. A few extra bad calories won’t hurt. Perhaps not, but they will slow your recovery. Make sure to continue to eat every three hours and don’t miss that post-workout recovery shake—down it as soon as possible after each training session. “Think of this period in terms of How clean can I eat?” says Mark Verstegen.

3. Regeneration

NFL Combine training season is when the hot tubs and cold plunges at Athletes’ Performance are the busiest. That’s because football players recognize the value of repairing tiny muscle tears and inflammation by alternating between hot tubs and cold pools of 55 degree water. You don’t need access to a hot tub or cold plunge; you can get the same effect in the shower by switching between hot and cold settings.

About The Author

Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

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Tags: Weight Loss, Rest, Goals, Sleep, Regeneration