Thursday, 28 February 2013

Improvement comes from the recovery

Those that know me know that I am a persistent but slow runner. Over 25 years of training and competing over distances up to the Marathon has given me the excuse to read some training and coaching manuals. One of the principles behind training is that better performance is delivered by the repetition of "train and recover" cycles. Small cycles such as train hard one day, easy the next and larger cycles such as train hard in the winter cross country season then rest before spring track training.

Just training without recovery is dangerous because without rest and recovery you are prone to injury. Of course all rest and you descend into couch potato life!

Apply this to our working world:

Working hard as an individual or in a team to deliver a project, meet a major deadline or complete a significant change programme would all count as training. (You could argue that this is competing, but the analogy still works).

We test our skills, procedures, our equipment and ourselves; we test our suppliers. After that we need to reflect, allow ourselves to review what has worked and not worked in order to make changes for the next one. Without that review we may not recover or improve efficiently. If you manage a team, it can seem imperative to rush onto the next thing, but reflection needn’t be time consuming. You may have had experience of “Project Review” tasks being shelved… but don’t fall into the trap of it yourself!

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