Take A Break: Are You Doing Too Much?
How to properly increase & optimize your recovery to get the most out of your training. Remember, you can train all you want, but without adequate recovery your body may break down and you may experience a few of these symptoms:
Your legs feel heavy all the time
You're excessively sore
Your race or workout time is slow for no apparent reason
You feel on the verge of an injury
Your sleep suffers
Below is a quick list of methods you can use for your recovery.
Compression garments were first use as a medical intervention to increase returning blood flow to the heart via the pressure applied to the area. Now, their primary use in sports is to improve recovery.
Benefits: Reduces muscle swelling, reduces blood levels of creatine kinase, and increases tissue oxygen saturation.
When to use it: While running/training OR after your training (>benefits) for up to 48 hours.
**You can also try the night before a race/event or while travelling to boost circulation and avoid swelling.
Benefits: May decrease DOMS, tension & increase range of motion.
Myofascial realease is a form of manual therapy that is intented to address localized tightness in the fascia that is currently causing pain (and potentially blood flow restriction).
Benefits: May increase blood flow, may reduce perceived soreness as a result of DOMS during the 48 hours following damagin exercise. May relax tension in muscles and release painful trigger point.
When to use it: Daily or post training.
4. Downtime with friends & family
Benefits: Making time for non-training activities boosts your psychology recovery. It can also help lower your level of cortisol (stress hormone).
5. ACTIVE RECOVERY
Cross training, postrun stretch or a yoga session. If you're feeling really burned out, take a whole day off from exercise!
Benefits: Boosts blood flow and prevents muscles and joints from stiffening. Lowers your heart rate and blood pressuree and eases anxiety and depression.
Benefits: During sleep your body repairs minor damage to your tissues, releases muscle-building human growth hormone and replenishes energy stores.
Optimal Sleep: Between 7-9 hours.
Take notes, notice how you feel so you know what works best to restore your body & mind.
1. Hill et al. (2014) Compression garments and recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage: a meta-analysis.
2. Weerapong et al. (2005) The Mechanisms of Massage and effets on Performance, Muscle Recovery and Injury Prevention
3. Pearcey et al. (2015) Foam Rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures.,