Recovery Tips

Stretch and RecoveryWe often forget that recovery is one of the most important ingredients to progress. Without it, we run our body down and impair our next performance.

There is a lot more to recovery than just stretching… and recovering properly makes you stronger and fitter in the long run — What is your recovery routine?

My body has come to rely on the following recovery tips…

  1. Never skip your cool-down. If you’re running short on time, skip the last lag of your main session and start your cool down early. If you’re absolutely spent, walking for 10-15 minutes can make a big difference — just remember to keep warm (layer up) if you’re cooling down outside in the winter months.
  2. Have a snack within 30 minutes of finishing your main session. Try to eat something high in protein and easy to digest.
  3. Re-hydrate. Find a water bottle you love or a glass you adore and keep it full. Sip on it throughout the day.
  4. Put your legs up. Spend 5-10 minutes with your legs up on the wall to enhance circulation and gently stretch your legs out.
  5. Invest in a foam roller. In addition to stretching – release muscle tension by rolling out tight areas and trigger points. Essentially an alternative for deep tissue messages… and (after the initial investment) it’s free!

I follow these to a tee after intense running sessions such as intervals or hills and after any race. For better or worse, I’m not so diligent after low-impact sports like cycling and swimming as my body doesn’t take as long to recover from these sessions.

If you’re crazy enough, ice baths go a long way. Dan does this after a big ride and finds that it helps a lot…. I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it… I absolutely hate being cold!

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