Options for Effective Recovery
When I decided one of my goals for 2013 would be to run my first 50 mile event the first thing that comes to mind is
are you crazy the significant increase in weekly mileage and the frequency that my long run will be a marathon or more. Then, as I later learned, I would be adding back-to-back long and longish runs on the weekends. What I hadn’t thought about was how my recovery would need to be different. I have a pretty typical recovery routine for pre-ultra training running (run, stretch, shower, eat and stretch again) that will most likely need to be kicked up a notch as my weekly mileage increases.
Recovery is where the gains in your training actually occur, and valuing your recovery is the key to both short-term and long-term success. …
What are my my recovery options? What do the experts recommend?
- Benefits – Compression improves blood flow and circulation, extending your endurance and peak performance. (Swiftwick)
- My Experience – I love the way compression feels on tired legs and soreness of muscles is significantly reduced and doesn’t last as long post-race.
- Benefits – Very easy jogging or cross training can be used during the hours and days following a hard run to assist with blood flow to recovering muscles and allow for relief from the tedium of successive hard training efforts. (iRunFar)
- My Experience – I haven’t consistently used active recovery but I definitely notice that inactivity makes for very sore and tight muscles.
Legs Up On the Wall
- Benefits – This inversion speeds recovery by draining fluids from the legs, stretching the hamstrings, and relieving tired legs and feet.
- My Experience – None.
- Benefits – Reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Once the skin is no longer in contact with the cold source, the underlying tissues warm up, causing a return of faster blood flow which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. (Runner’s World)
- My Experience – The extent of my experience has been to think about the benefits and to think about how unappealing the thought of sitting in a tub of ice is. So basically, none.
Epsom Salt Baths
- Absorption of magnesium through the skin can reduce inflammation and eliminate toxins which helps to ease muscle pain. Epsom Salt Council
- My Experience – None
- Benefits – Whether it’s a masseuse at a spa or a foam roller or The Stick at home, massage has been linked to managing muscle inflammation, increasing blood circulation as well as releasing muscle tension, cramping, and trigger points.
- My Experience – I’ve had massages and love the calming relaxed feeling but I’ve never had a massage by a masseuse as part of recovering from a run. I use a foam roller and/or The Stick on a daily basis as part of my stretching routine to relax all the muscles and to relieve specific tight spots.
I know for a fact I will continue with compression and stretching as part of my recovery routine. Other than that I’m going to try the recovery recommendations that I’ve never used before and, just like with eating for endurance, I’m going to figure out what works for me. Honestly, the ice bath? Not sure if I will try it or not. The thought is that unappealing.
Have you ever taken an ice bath? Have you used Epsom Salt baths for recovery? What are your tried and true recovery tips? Do you have a consistent recovery routine?
Have a wonderful weekend!