Thursday, May 26, 2016
Fitness enthusiasts can be very hard on their bodies. Combine long days of work, hard training sessions, and insufficient sleep, and you have a recipe for burnout and injury. Use the following pieces of advice to ensure effective and efficient recovery from your next race or event.
Motion is lotion
“My best advice – keep moving,” says Craig Congdon, a Certified Personal Trainer and USA Triathlon Coach. When coaching athletes to compete events ranging from a 5k walk to a 12+ hour Ironman, Craig prescribes recovery walks for the following day. “The natural inclination is to sit down and decompress, but even a 30-minute walk will increase blood flow and speed the recovery process.”
It can be difficult to convince yourself to be active with sore muscles and an aching body. However, the more we stay still, the more tightly wound our muscles become. Take time to move, and your body will be better prepared for your next training session or event.
Eat to perform
“Fueling post-race recovery is just as important as fueling your body for training & race day,” says Sara Dvorak, a Certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, and competitive rower. “Though quantity may vary depending on the completed event and when the next one is, quality is still a priority. It is okay to reward yourself after a hard race, but do not let cravings become your new norm.”
Your body needs a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals from high quality sources to repair the damage caused by training and racing. Whether you have one event scheduled this season or multiple, proper nutrition plays a major role in healing your body after intense effort. Be sure to fill your plate with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, protein sources, and healthy fats.
When in doubt… rest
After finishing the 2016 Boston Marathon, Keith Lauritsen’s mind turned to one thing – rest. “Taking some time off from competing is important to maintaining long-term fitness,” says Keith, a Certified Personal Trainer. Keith recommends getting quality sleep in the days following your event, and allowing yourself to completely recover.
Too often people go from competition straight back into their training routine. Taking time to get back to 100% will make your next training program more effective, and better prepare you for your next event. Depending on the intensity of your event, plan to take at least a full week to recover before returning to any high-intensity training efforts.
The amount of recovery you need depends on the type and intensity of your event, your fitness level, and more. Maximize your recovery time by staying active, keeping your nutrition on track, and taking time to rest. These three best-practices will have you fully prepared for your next event.
Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
Workplace Wellness Coordinator & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist