The 5 rules of optimal recovery 🤕

1. Know the rules
Here are just some general rules which, if you follow can keep you running injury free .

* Don’t do hard workouts on back to back days.
* Every 4-5 weeks have a recovery week.
* Don’t race short distances 5-10k more than once a month.
* Don’t race hard marathons more than twice a year.

2. Don’t run!
This recovery run people keep doing the day after a long race... the negatives out weigh the positives. You’re aching like hell, you’re not going to maintain good form and are more likely to encourage injury. Not only from having no recovery time but by running like John Wayne.

Take a day off for every 10 miles ran. For a marathon 2.5-3 days of no running.

If the race has a ton of elevation then a day for every 10k.

Very often elite athletes will take 2 weeks off after a major race.

By all means go ride a bike, swim, row etc just don’t run.

3. Commit!
We all know that recovery plays a vital role and is just as important as the training itself. Your joints and muscles may stop aching after a day or two.

But it’s the other stresses that take longer to recover. Like the nervous and metabolic systems which usually take several more days than your legs.

Make it a goal to not run for x amount of days then train lightly for x amount of weeks perhaps.

Be as disciplined with your rest as your are with your training.

4. EAT
You burn between 600 and 1000kcals running per hour. It’s very hard to replace even half of that whilst running.

Annoyingly post race you don’t usually have much appetite either. It may take up to 7 days to replace lost nutrients and tissue so eating the right things is so important.

I always have a good quality post run shake, make sure it’s a endurance specific one which has a high ration of carbs to proteins. Just chucking a load of protein in won’t help.

Listen to your cravings, they’re trying to tell you something. Most people run to aid weight maintenance or loss but being in a constant calorie deficit will prolong the time it takes to rebuild and recover.

Here’s just a few guidelines to work on.

* At least 100g of protein per day to help repair the muscle breakdown during races.
* Avoid simple carbs and sugars, carbohydrates cause inflammation in the body which is exactly what we are trying to get rid of in the body.
* Hydration...seems pretty obvious but ongoing rehydration is so important aim for 3 litres a day! Not just water get yourself some good quality electrolytes which will speed up your rehydration process. Rehydration is crucial in both disposing of metabolic waste and aiding in the digestion and repair of the whole body.

5. Get moving!

Whilst running should be avoided there are plenty of things you can do and Let’s face it l, the majority of runners don’t stretch enough.

You ask... what do I need to stretch? everything, why not. When you’re aching frequent stretching will speed up recovery.

Key areas to stretch.
* hip flexion and extension;
* quadriceps and hamstrings;
* calf and shins; and
* back and trunk flexion, extension, sidebending, and rotation.

YouTube is a great tool to find some great stretches, you could always have a yoga or Pilates class booked to get your moving again.

Get a sports massage. It’s going to be sore but getting those muscle fibres loosened up will get you feeling brand new in no time.

Frequent stressful races create significant tissue restrictions that can create
massive restrictions in the run stride. This can reduce stride efficiency, which can create long term soreness and on going injury’s.

What are your recovery top tips?

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