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!

Grateful and Excited

After suffering from shin splints last year, a few things were put into perspective… Going out for a quick 30-minute run was no longer an option. Instead, I’d have to pack up and walk to the gym to find some low-impact cardio. It became a chore being so restricted.

The shin splits lasted six months… I wasn’t able to run from March – November 2014. They’ve since settled down and I have been able to enjoy some beautiful runs around London again. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated going for a run as much as I do now.

Tomorrow, I’ll be racing my first 10k in ages!! I’m not going to bring my Garmin and instead I’ll just run by feel. If I leave with a sub 50-minute finish time and no shin pain, I’ll be a very happy camper!

To avoid any injuries tomorrow I plan to:

  • Do a long easy warm-up
  • Roll out my calves tonight and after the race
  • Take Monday off to recover

Enjoy your training. Enjoy the freedom of it. And take care of your body!

Last ride with Dan before his surgery

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Dan and I went around Regents Park this morning and did an interval session together (ish) – haha – He’s so much faster than me, lets get real. So we went together and left together but we did our own thing around Regents.

He goes for surgery tomorrow for the shin pain he has, caused by ‘compartment gate syndrome’. He’ll be recovering for at least 3 weeks after that.

Fingers crossed.

Cycling in the Winter

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I haven’t been out on my bike much this winter… mainly due to frosty roads and a busy schedule.

In the winter months, it is key to leave yourself enough time to set off late in the morning (when it warms up and the frost clears away). I clearly got too comfortable with all the warm long days the UK Summer and Autumn have to offer… as a result, I didn’t give myself enough time in the day to fit both a bike ride in the morning and something social in the afternoon.

Clear your schedule – enjoy the sleep in – and plan something social for the evenings instead!

Yesterday, Dan and I got away for a nice ride and ended up at Gail’s Artisan Bakery in St. John’s Wood. We had a lovely croissant and espresso just before heading home — a perfect start to getting back in the habit of cycling on the weekends.

Role on next weekend!

Time to get back into the swing of things

Come Run

It’s January 3rd.. about that time to get back into the swing of things. The holidays are over, and a new working week approaches (the sad truth!).

Let’s get outside and start breaking all the bad habits we so happily took on board over the holidays.

Remember that feeling you get when you’re out on a run… the fresh air, the mind space… and then the feeling of accomplishment when your workout is finished… Something that over indulging in turkey, sweets and mulled wine doesn’t necessarily offer!

Now is the time. Join me and start the process of finding your healthy routine again.

Goal Setting

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I have a lot of exciting goals this year — I honestly can’t even wait to start working towards each and every one of them. I’m listing them here to make myself accountable and to remind myself why I set these goals in the first place. When I get in the thick of things, I’ll reference this post to keep myself focused and energized.

Here they are… 

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Buddy Up

Live Loosley and Dan Can Greeper Laces

No matter what your fitness goals are finding someone to train with can make all the difference.

Buddy up and challenge each other!

Learning to Swim

Welp. I have been swimming for 5 months now and have seen such a huge improvement since I began… I mean that isn’t too surprising considering my first time doing lengths in a 25m pool consisted of 2 laps and a minute of rest before going at it again. I was uncomfortable and stiff, and I totally didn’t understand why anyone would put themselves through such an activity time and time again.

I’ve made an effort swimming once a week and have finally gotten comfortable and more relaxed in the pool. I’m not swimming fast or far but at least I am enjoying it. Committing to a Triathlon in 2015 seems less impossible than it did 5 months ago.

Explore new running routes

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When I was training for the 2013 Edinburgh Marathon, I made the mistake of doing the same running route over and over and over and over again. I didn’t notice how boring it was at the time, but thinking back it is absolutely mind melting. I found too much comfort in knowing what hill to expect next, when I was going to have a down-hill break, and how long it would take me to get home already! This type of comfort does not pay off in the long run — it can lead to injury, it can be a major mental barrier when you do venture out of that usual route, and eventually you’ll get bored of it — or you’ll get bored of running.

Try different running routes — no matter how far the distance — and keep it interesting.

Yesterday I planned to go for an easy run… being based in South Hampstead, I usually run to and around Regents Park… It is a convenient loop that starts and finishes at my doorstep. Instead of doing ‘the usual’ – yesterday I took the Overground to Richmond for my run. It was such a nice change running in an unknown area and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

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