Let’s say you were at the local high school track to do some sprints. It is interval day, and you have been looking forward to the high intensity training as opposed to the long distance running that you dread. Your coach is standing on the infield grass with a stopwatch, and a crowd has gathered in the stands to watch you give 100%.
You complete your warm up and then line up for your first 40m, all out sprint. You use perfect form and finish with a damn pretty good time. However, instead of walking back to the start, you wait 3-4 seconds and do it again. And again. And again. After all, isn’t this what tough, driven athletes do? Isn’t rest and recovery something that only weak people engage in?
This is an absurd example to illustrate how ignoring rest and recovery does not improve performance. It inhibits it. In the previous example, we all know what would happen. Times would start getting worse. Form would be atrocious. Injuries would be a matter of time. So, why do people torture themselves by avoiding sleep and recovery time?
Some people see it as a badge of honor. They can have it.