Last week was my longest half marathon in a while and I’ve been spending a lot more time on recovery. Plus, as I continue to build mileage, I’ve been focusing more on running recovery too. Most people know but I’m injury-prone, so I can’t get away with not focusing on recovering from running. At this point, I don’t even try too.
Someone once told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. I apply that thought process every time I have an injury scare. Believe me, I’ve gone to my PT convinced I have a stress fracture, only for him to say…no your leg is just tight.
Here are a Few Techniques to Help Recover Faster from Running:
We all know you should but how many people actually stretch after runs or night. Probably not many of us. The foam roller can be our best friend post run, intense workout, or training session. I’ve attempted to add foam rolling more into my recovery routine.
I’m a big fan of ART. It flushes out lactic acid from your legs and muscles quicker and you recover faster. I’ve always recovered faster when I opted to get a deep tissue massage or ART. If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that). They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet. I always have less muscle soreness when I see them.
Upping my Protein:
I’m not saying I have steak every meal but adding extra protein: including more eggs, greek yogurt, and lean meat has helped my muscles recover faster. I’m not a nutritionist or dietician and don’t claim to be, I’ve just found it’s been working. I know a lot of people swear by chocolate milk. I find I am recovering from workouts faster when I have a protein source within 30 minutes of running, especially long runs.
This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows the muscles to repair. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep has become important to me as well as muscle recovery. We know sleep is important, but there are so many distractions that make it difficult to get to bed. I try and log off the internet around 9 pm. Sometimes I read, sometimes I go straight to bed.
This week most of my easy runs have been in the 9-10 minute pace which is fine. There is no point in racing training runs, that is when injuries are caused. If you struggle with not being able to run slower, I highly recommend leaving the watch at home.
Recovery from anything, whether it’s a race or hard training cycle takes time. Just like training, there is no secret that does it all at once.
Rest Days and Active Recovery:
Full Rest days are needed and you shouldn’t be afraid to use them in your recovery process. You don’t need to be marathon training to need rest days. I’ve come to learn 7 days a week of running doesn’t work for me, so adding a rest day or active recovery day helps keep me healthy.
Recovering from running is simple and takes a few extra minutes. It is what keeps most people healthier and able to push through harder and longer workouts. Without running recovery, you will probably end up burned out or injured.
Question for you: How do you recover from hard workouts? Any tips?