Tools to Recover
Like easy runs and rest, recovery is often overlooked with training.
Without rest and recovery, you won’t be able to run. I’ve started to up my mileage and lately I’ve felt like I can’t get enough recovery.
Soon March through May will be busy racing months, so it’s important to take rest seriously.
My mantra for 2019 is a la Des Linden: to Just Show Up. From the good, bad, the PR, and personal worst, I’ll be there.
This means I’m packing up my race schedule to try and find my speed legs. Nothing more than a half, but recovery is as important.
There are plenty of recovery items from compression sleeves to foam rollers that look like rollerblades….but what works and what doesn’t?
I’m not being paid to tell you about any of these products; it’s just what I use on a personal level.
Tools to Recover:
Like running shoes, what works for me might not work for you.
CEP Compression Sleeves and Tights:
I’ve been wearing CEP compression sleeves for years. My calves are my problem area, and I need to stretch and promote blood flow as much as possible. Compression sleeves allow more blood to flow to calves and shins. Therefore, calves (as well as shins) recover faster.
Compression sleeves can benefit anyone for faster recovery. There isn’t much (if any?) downside to them, it’s just important to get the right size as well as medical grade compression. Personally, I don’t wear them 24-7 but I do wear them frequently while running as well as after running.
I frequently wear them during races as well as after a hard run or race. I’ve been known to wear them under leggings and have a nice tan line through the summer. I’ve also written a post dedicated only to compression.
Why CEP Brand?
- I like CEP because they are medical grade compression. Medical grade compression means unlike many other brands, they have “medical grade” compression. Medical grade compression are designed to move blood flow. The most common support come:
- mild (8-15 mmHg),
- Medium (15-20 mmHg),
- Firm (20-30 mmHg) CEP
- X-Firm (30-40 mmHg)
They aren’t simply an expensive tube sock to make you look cool.
More often than not my quads get sore after a hard workout or race. The compression capris have the same compression as the sleeves but geared towards the quads and hamstrings.
I’ve worn them while running, and I’ve also worn them to recover in. I don’t wear them as much as the sleeves, but I do wear them after hard workouts and races.
The Roll Recovery R8 is the most expensive piece of equipment I purchased but, to be honest; it ‘s worth it. It’s $120 (the average cost of shoes).
I haven’t found anything that can get as deep into the muscle. When I foam roll myself, I never get as deep as needed. Since the R8 clamps on to your leg, it goes as deep as possible. It takes the guesswork away from you. While it’s expensive, I do think it’s better than any other foam roller I’ve tried. I do use my Roll Recovery R8 more than any other foam roller I’ve purchased…(read: I use my R8).
As I tell anyone, foam rollers are only as good as you use them.
Epsom Salt Baths and Ice Baths:
Admittedly, I’m not always as good at this as I would like. I prefer Epsom salt baths because I do feel relaxed afterward. I just feel cold and miserable after ice baths.
ART is expensive, but it does keep me healthy. Locally, I prefer Dr. Kemenosh and his team because they’ve worked on my issues since my second marathon. I try and go at least once a month.
Essentially, ART releases knots in my muscles too deep for me to do personally. Deeper than I can get with a foam roller or R8. Over time, they build up. I think that’s what keeps me from having a lot of muscle injuries (knock on wood).
On Tuesday, I tried Cyrotherapy for the first time ever. I was so nervous to try cryo because I hate the cold. The theory for cryotherapy is by immersing the body in extremely cold air for several minutes, your body will have all of the benefits of an ice bath but in a shorter amount of time.
You stand upright in an enclosed chamber. Your head in the only thing out! Then the space drops to anywhere between -100-300. The first time I went, it dropped to about -160. It was cold, but I didn’t find it unbareable or the worst thing ever. I didn’t enjoy standing in a freezing cold tube for 3 minutes, but I do feel better after doing so. If you’re local I went to Innovations Health and Wellness in Hamilton, NJ. Will I do it again? Yes, I do feel less sore than before I went.
Those are just a few things I’m using but there are always more. These days in the running world, there are more recovery tools than running shoes!
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Questions for you:
How do you recover from a hard workout?
Do you like to take baths? Have you tried cryotherapy?