The Importance of Recovery

It’s been a few days since my last post, so I wanted to check in and give an update to how things have been. After the Fourth of July Race, a hamstring injury flared up. I was still able to run, but pain kept me pretty tied down workout and cross training wise.

Fast forward to today, and the pain has subsided, and I now have 2 actual workouts under my belt. With the increasing mileage, and intensity, I wanted to take a post to talk a little bit about recovery. I’m not a doctor, so please read this for what it is. Opinionated trial and error.

Specifically, I’m going to be talking about hard effort recovery. Every day recovery is very individual, but I think there might be some universal truths to recovering after workouts, and races especially.

Directly post workout, I like to hydrate and stretch. This time of year, I’ve often been sweating the majority of my run. It’s essential for me to hydrate. I prefer cold water, but if it’s been an exceptionally hot and brutal session, I’ll find some Powerade Zero (ICED).

Depending on where I am (Home vs Work), I’ll either shower first, or prepare some recovery food. It’s different depending on where I am, because my resources differ a bit.

WORK: When at work, I often bring some sort of energy bar. Nut Butter Clif Bars, or something else with lower sugar, but plenty of protein. I try to consume this bar or snack within 45 minutes of finishing the workout. More often than not, it leaves me feeling better as the day goes on.

clif

HOME: If I run from my apartment, I like to have a bowl of oatmeal with some cool toppings to recover. Some of my favorites are apples, plain greek yogurt, strawberries, and natural peanut butter. I’m sure there are thousands of other cool toppings, this is just what I gravitate to.

So that takes care of the nutrition for right after. But what about the rest of the day? I think that plays a much more important role than some may think. I often try to make sure the rest of my meals are nutritious, and that I’m drinking plenty of water.

If I’m feeling extra spry, I’ll hop on my bike for a quick ride. I always make a point of walking around, and doing some extra stretching as well. This ensures that the blood keeps flowing, and nothing gets too stiffened up. I feel like a good walk or two, or just being slightly active in general the day of a workout helps tremendously in the next days run.

For days where I’ve really beaten the crap out of my body, I reserve Ice Baths as a last resort. I’ve done many during my running career thus far, but man are they cold! Only as a last ditch effort to help the legs out, and never more than that! Ice baths are a preferential thing, though. I don’t condone those who do it often. Quite the opposite. I admire their courage!

So that’s my spiel on workout/race recovery. Nothing ground breaking, just a point of view from a guy who runs.

Let us know in the comments below what YOU’RE go to recovery tips are!

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more!

 

Image courtesy of http://www.libertymountain.com/products/6052/NTN17360/.

 

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