The answer to this question will be very different depending on the athlete, both because of their personality, but also depending on the level of athlete they are. I’m sure most full-time athletes will say, they do as little as possible when they’re not training in order to maximise their recovery. I too try to maximise my recovery time as much as possible, but am not yet in a position to be able to train without working, but I do all I can with what I have.
The majority of my time outside training is spent working. I have a job alongside training that allows me to fund life and pursue my training to the level I wish. I am very fortunate as I work for a company that is exceptionally understanding of my training, so much so, that I can train whenever is best for me, and do my work around that. I am also about to work remotely, so I can work wherever I am. They are extremely supportive and pay lots of interest in my journey which I feel extremely grateful to have. Being able to work remotely also means I can work and recover at the same time. I can work from the comfort of my sofa, so whilst I am still working my brain, my legs can get a break before my next training session.
I love cooking, which is also super convenient as it means it is not a chore to cook my meals from scratch. I love trying new recipes and cooking for my friends and family. This is something I especially love doing on a rest day. Sometimes I will find myself spending most of the afternoon preparing bits for a nice meal. I find it super therapeutic and the time seems to fly by. I am quite a fidgety person, so I think this is why I love cooking so much, as there is always something to do. I am not a fan of the sort of meal that you just chop stuff up and put it in the oven for 5 hours and don’t need to do anything else! I am too impatient and get bored as there is nothing I can do whilst it cooks.
Sometimes after a hard session, or on a day I feel particularly tired, I find it difficult to focus on anything, therefore I just need to switch off. This may be by reading a book, doing some writing or watching a series/movie. It may even be doing some painting or colouring. Whatever my brain is after that feels calming, I’ll do! Sometimes watching a programme just irritates me, so I just let my mind decide what it wants to do.
Spend time with my dogs.
They say you’re either a cat person or a dog person, and I am 100000% a dog person! So much so, I’m actually scared of cats. I never used to be, until I develop a liking for stray cats and got attacked my a few, but I’m digressing. I find spending time with my dogs to be a great way of switching off. Whether that be taking them on a walk, sitting with them, or even just watching them, as much dogs are nuts and are hysterical to simply watch. In my current set up, I spend quite a lot of time on my own, so the dogs are a great companions. It may sound a little crazy, but I even find myself talking to them.
Thinking about training.
When you are doing something you love and care about, it can be hard to switch off from it. For me, that is what I am like with training. When I am not training, I usually have in my mind what the next training session is or think about something else I can do to help my training. Of course I do completely switch off from it at times, but I just love the sport, so much so, I don’t really want to switch off from it. It is a lifestyle, and runs through everything you do throughout the day, at all times.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!