Does your training and racing leave you tired and shattered? Want to get back up and going quicker after events or training sessions?
There are a range of things you can do to assist with recovering from events and training sessions. Most people don’t give themselves the best shot at recovering quickly so here is some advice to assist you do so.
Conducting an appropriate warm up will not only ensure you perform to the best of your ability, but will also avoid the body getting a shock from the level of exercise. If you give your body a massive shock it will take greater time and effort for the body to recover from it. By doing an appropriate warm up, you can avoid the body needing the extra recovery. By progressively moving into the warm up, starting slowly and gently, building to more intense efforts you will progressively increase your heart rate and ventilation rate and get the blood moving to the muscles.
A cool down will also greatly assist your recovery. How many people do you see finish a race and then pack up their gear and go home? Are you guilty of doing this too? Just going for a gentle jog or bike ride after a running race or bike race respectively will have great benefits to assisting to flush waste products from the body. It doesn’t need to be long. 10 minutes is ample for most situations.
Doing a hard training session or race isn’t a reason to reward yourself with crap food. After all you are what you eat. After you finish exercising you have a window of about 2 hours in which your body can optimally absorb the required nutrients. As time goes on this ability returns back towards its normal ability to absorb nutrients. Make the most of this opportunity to fuel the body appropriately. The focus should be on carbohydrates, but not at the exclusion of protein which is essential for repair and regeneration. A ratio of 4:1 is optimal, that is four times as many carbohydrates compared to protein. The carbohydrates provide the energy and the protein is the building blocks for the repair.
Stretching often gets left out of the training programme, but it shouldn’t. It doesn’t take long to complete and the benefits are immense. The inclusion of a weekly yoga class can do wonders for your flexibility and your performance as a result of its inclusion. Talk to your coach about this. After the session or race, stretch the muscles that have been worked the hardest/most first, if you don’t have time to stretch every muscle. If you have more time available work systematically through your body to ensure each part gets a good stretch. Click here for a stretching programme.
As Euripides is quoted as saying: “Do not consider painful what is good for you”. A good massage can be slightly uncomfortable, but conversely it will increase blood flow and lymphatic circulation, increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, as well as flushing out any waste products that are present. Regardless of how stressful a massage is, any reputable massage therapist will always finish with relaxing strokes to minimise any immediate discomfort from the massage you have just received.
Having hot/cold contrast showers or baths can provide some great benefits. Using a plunge pool is great but not a practical option for most people. Conducting this recovery technique in a shower can be just as beneficial. Simply ensure you heat your body up using water as hot as you can tolerate for about 3 minutes, then utilise the coldest water your body can tolerate (or that your shower can supply) for thirty seconds. Repeat this three times. The hot water creates vasodilation of the blood vessels and the cold water stimulates vasoconstriction. The opening and closing of the blood vessels increases blood circulation and removal of waste products.
Recovery sessions can be conducted at low intensity (less than 70%) and for relatively short durations (less than thirty minutes in some instances). They allow for plenty of rest and are a great opportunity for technique work. They increase the blood flow over normal resting levels and this assists with the removal of waste products.
Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.
Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at www.qwik.kiwi, email@example.com and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his informative newsletter.
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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…).
• Entering your first triathlon?
• Stepping up to a longer distance?
• Looking to go faster?
• Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives?
Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
2 weeks agoPost the Greytown Park Run (walk or mixture). Severe procrastination nearly robbed me the chance to do today's park run. At 6am I hit the 10 minute snooze button. At 6.10am I hit the 10 minute snooze button. At 6.20am I again hit the 10 minute snooze button. At 6.30am I turned the alarm off. At 6.50am without leaving my bed, I once again checked the weather app. Then around 6.55am my feet touched the floor. It didn't look too bad outside. I jumped into the running gear I had sorted last night, grabbed a wind shield cycling vest to
2 days agoI now have 28 park runs under my belt. There was a strong tail wind all the way out which meant a lot of digging deep on the way back. I made the most of the tail wind to keep ahead of the runners not far behind. At the turnaround I had caught up to the next runner ahead of me. I tucked in behind him, however I felt I could go faster despite the wind force, so I did. I managed to put more time into those behind me once into that head wind. My change in my pace
1 week agoDon't shoot, don't shoot (except with a camera) Today I got to the park run in time to have a short warm up. Running is starting to feel less of a struggle and I was able to up my pace at various times to make gains on other runners. Today's 5km was my quickest in the last three months. I am so glad I did a short run last evening. My legs didn't feel sore today despite the aerobic/strength circuit I did yesterday morning. In fact my legs felt really good considering some of the load they've worked under this
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