Hi everyone, hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Easter weekend. I wanted to make sure I introduced the next series of blogs now because I believe it perfectly coincides with all of our focuses towards improving our running abilities. Far too often we are looking at only the workout itself, and forget the importance of our post-run/workout recovery. It is this oversight I wish to address in the following blog. Please continue to follow this series as there will be additional installments to come.
Strategy #1: Recovery, Recovery, Recovery
If there's one thing we need to understand about training, it's this: It's not the training we do that counts; it's the training from which we can recover. But recovery involves more than plopping our butts on the couch post-run for some food, TV and a nap. Recovery is a multi-layered strategy for ensuring that we benefit from the training we do.
The most important part of our workout is the first 15 minutes after we finish. This is the time to replenish muscle glycogen (50-100g of carbohydrate), rehydrate and do our post-run static stretching and exercises.
Recover At Night
Studies show that people who sleep seven to nine hours per night live longer. Living longer is an essential part or running longevity. Good sleep also repairs cell damage, strengthens our immune systems, lowers stress, increases flexibility and keeps us alert and refreshed.
Recover Between Hard Workouts
Recovery days allow our bodies to adapt to the training stimulus of a hard workout. This is when our improvement occurs. Easy running during these days adds to our training volume and aids repair of damaged muscle fibers and connective tissue. It allows replacement of muscle glycogen, hormones and enzymes. A fit 25-year-old requires two to three days of recovery between hard workouts, while a 70-year old might need twice that.
Recovery From The Daily Grind
They say stress kills. But before it kills, it'll do lots of damage along the way. Stress lowers immunity, increases inflammation, slows healing, decreases bone density, decreases muscle mass, increases blood pressure, increases fat and intensifies blood sugar imbalances. So find an outlet. Shoot some hoops. Read a book. Write. Paint. Dance. Work in the garden. Or there's always some other alternative that will allow us to relax and decompress. Recovery makes us better runners. So seriously, find a way to chill out!