We 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…
- 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.
- Have a snack within 30 minutes of finishing your main session. Try to eat something high in protein and easy to digest.
- Re-hydrate. Find a water bottle you love or a glass you adore and keep it full. Sip on it throughout the day.
- Put your legs up. Spend 5-10 minutes with your legs up on the wall to enhance circulation and gently stretch your legs out.
- 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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[…] For me – the 21km distance isn’t foreign to me… my main goal was to approach training and racing sensibly so I’d avoid shin splints and injury (a previous post on that here). […]