Hey guys, hope all is GREAT with everyone and you are all enjoying summer. Something I am sometimes (ok, often) guilty of is neglecting the little things in regards to training and recovery which end up sabotaging some workouts and overall progress. So my goal is to start focusing on these areas of enhanced recovery in hopes I will benefit and see greater progress in my running.
1. Stretching: I am NOT of fan of stretching before workouts and instead focusing on dynamic warm-up drills (A skips, butt kicks, grapevines, etc). However, I NEED to start being more dedicated (or doing it period) in stretching post workouts and throughout the day. As one puts in more mileage, there are more micro-tearing and muscle damage that needs to be attended to. As we run and train we shorten our muscles and without stretching they have no chance in being elongated. Shortened and tight muscles lead to overuse injuries and a lack of range of motion. Not good in general. So new goal. Stretch 10 minutes post workout and again 2 additional times during the day or 10-20 minutes.
2. Post workout nutrition: After hard and long workouts what I crave the most is coffee and a gluten free muffins or Bonk Breaker or Lara Bar. What is better for recovery would be 1 sc. of Endurox, Jai Lifestyle Endurance Elixir, Recoverite or Vega Whole Food Optimizer mixed with water or some unsweetened almond milk and fruit. It is within that 30 minute window of training the body is starving for nutrients. If one does not take advantage of that window they lose a great chance to enhance and start the recovery process. So new goal: A recovery drink post workout within 30 minutes. No excuses
3. Foam roll: Most distance runners need but can’t always afford frequent massages. So the next best thing is a $40 foam roller. Using this, one can inflict the same kind of “great” pain and discomfort onto themselves. Foam rollers can and will elongate muscles, break up adhesions, and help promote circulation. Goal: Foam roll at least daily.
4. Sleep: This is possibly where I lack the most in helping enhance recovery. When running daily and higher mileage. Sleep is of most importance. Some can get by on less, while others need more. When increasing mileage, athletes need more down time in order to get the benefits of the training. New goal: Get 8-10 hours of sleep daily especially on bigger training weeks and when in stress. If you can’t get it all during the night, it often helps to try to get a 1-2 hour nap in on days when possible.
5. Listen to your Coach: I saved the most important one for last. We, as endurance athletes and runners, can sometimes overlook our training pitfalls especially when we are self-coached. The best thing I have done with my running is get a wonderful Coach to dictate my training and be a sounding board 24/7. While I coach others with great success, I was not a good Coach for myself. To much second guessing, over-training, and over-looking issues that at times blew up in my face and resulted in mandatory time off. I am forever grateful for the most AMAZING ATC, Mike Ribar and the greatest Coach Brett Schumacher and so many other amazing individuals that have assisted and guided me through the years. Goal: Follow Coach Schumacher’s plan and be in frequent communication with him on how I feel!
So a few things to think about and not neglect. Have a great week!