Don’t Let Breaks Break You

Injuries are not specific to CrossFit training, but they happen. I’ve been hurt many more times coaching and playing soccer, baseball and basketball than I’ve ever been injured during CrossFit, but soreness and fatigue will definitely get to you if you don’t keep an eye on your training. Taking time off from CrossFit is not the worst thing you can do, but just like taking breaks in the middle of a long grinder, you need to make sure that you have a plan for getting back after it.
CrossFit encourages and teaches the three days on, one day off training schedule. While rest is encouraged, taking too much of a break too often can hinder your progress and lead to the bad habits that most of us probably had before starting CrossFit.
For me, it is less often the injury-related issues that throw off my schedule than the other obligations in my life. There have been times when I’ve gotten so wrapped up with teaching and my coaching responsibilities that sleeping in for an extra hour or two here or there throughout the week sounds better than sticking to my training schedule. If you look through my extensive training log, you’d see some pretty consistent numbers from month to month, but there are some stretches when I have gone three to five days and have not trained at all.
Taking extended rest will not end all hopes and dreams you might have had about becoming a Regional athlete some day, but it can be an extremely slippery slope. While I think that the three days on, one off approach is very sound advice and works for me (more accurately, I follow three on, one off, two on, one off), allowing myself more than two days off on any given week can be a problem. Once I start to get in a pattern of becoming comfortable with not training, I immediately begin to come up with a list of reasons why I don’t need to get back to my box.
Vacations and traveling for work also can be an issue unless you can plan ahead so that you are able to find some local affiliates or put together a solid plan to execute travel WODs. If you end up being out of town for an extended amount of time, it can be very easy to get caught up in the fun and family time of eating however you want and slacking on logging your workouts.
What schedule do you find works best for you? If you end up missing some training time because of travel or injury, what things do you do to get yourself back on track?
– Jamie Toland