5 Post-Exercise Recovery Tips
Training for a marathon or Ironman is seriously hard work. So is a 12 week bootcamp at the gym. At the beginning of your training schedule, you are full of energy and excited about hitting your training targets, but in time your body begins to fall apart and motivation leaves via the back door. It’s hard to keep going when the going gets tough, but post-exercise recovery is an important component of any training schedule.
Are you doing enough to recover after a strenuous workout? If you are a newbie athlete and this is your first major endurance event, probably not. New athletes are far more likely to overdo their training and succumb to injury. A fatal combination of enthusiasm and a lack of knowledge can lead to problems further down the line. Hopefully this won’t happen to you, but just to make sure, here are some useful tips!
Rest days are just as important as long runs and cross-training. Your body needs rest days to recover and repair from your tough workouts. Some athletes think it’s better to train day after day, in the mistaken belief that their body will be harder and stronger as a result. No, it really won’t. You should factor in at least one rest day in a week and make sure every third week of training is less intensive than the preceding two weeks.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is just as critical as rest. Your tissues repair when you are asleep. The better your sleep, the more refreshed you will feel when you train. It’s also a good idea to take a nap following a particularly arduous long run or intensive interval session. Make sure you catch enough sleep. Invest in quality bedding from threel.co.uk and don’t burn the candle at both ends.
Sports massages might seem like a luxury, but a good massage will loosen up tight muscles and prevent any problems from sabotaging your training problems. Most gyms offer a sports massage service. If your legs are feeling tight or you have having a few niggles elsewhere, book a sports massage. It’s painful, but very effective.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
We are what we eat. Your body is an engine, so make sure you give it the right fuel. Carbs give you energy, but protein is vitally important for muscle repair. Eat plenty of eggs, lean meat and healthy carbs. If you don’t fuel up before a tough workout, you will crash and burn. Energy drinks and bars have their place, but they are no substitute for good nutrition.
Take an Ice Bath
Is your body suffering from marathon training? Ice baths help to reduce inflammation after long runs. They are, however, not very pleasant, so if you can’t stand the idea of sitting in an ice bath, alternate between a hot and cold shower, or a cold shower and warm bath. It’s invigorating and should aid your recovery post-workout.
Other post-recovery tips include a full stretching and warm-down regime and adequate hydration before you take a cold shower followed by a warm bath.
What is your go-to post-exercise recovery tip?