As I’m getting back into marathon training, I’m also starting to think about recovery. When you are training almost everyday it is important to recover as quickly as possible. I read an article on Running Times website, Post-Run Recovery Tips, that offered some great advice that I’ll outline below.
Keys to Recovery
- Structure your workouts to look like a bell curve. Progress from a walk/slow jog to your intended running pace, and then progressively slow your pace to properly cool down. Lauren Fleshman says that if she’s doing a workout she will incorporate something to bridge the gap between the workout and her jog—either strides or long accelerations.
- Refuel immediately. This is your greatest opportunity to accelerate recovery. Directly following your run, your body is at nutritional depletion and your system is at its most absorbent. Take advantage of this time and refuel immediately with a protein shake, gatorade, PB & J sandwich, etc. They recommend a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
- Hydrate with water.
- Blood Flow. If you have a desk job, make it a point to get up a few minutes every hour to walk around.
- Power naps/Meditation. 15-30 minutes to yourself of shuteye or relaxation.
- Stretch Post-Run. Immediately following your workout, while your muscles are still warm, stretch your major muscle groups.
- Don’t always reach for the Ibuprofen. Inflammation is not a bag thing and can actually aid in repairing the damage. You can help your body repair the damage without taking ibuprofen by: taking an ice bath and consuming more anti-inflammatory foods. Whole grains, healthy fats from avocados and nuts, beans, leafy greens, and wild-caught fish promote an anti-inflammatory response in the body, but don’t prevent local, potentially beneficial, reactionary inflammation.
So these are just several things that you can do to help accelerate recovery. I feel like I do a pretty good job with all of these things except one…stretching post-run. I honestly never stretch after a workout which is terrible…perhaps I should make it a goal to stretch after every run? I can already see myself getting lazy about it. Also, I’ve never taken an ice bath…sounds like a fun time so maybe I’ll try that sometime too.
What are some other keys to recovery?
Have you ever taken an ice bath?