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The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Recovery

The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Recovery

The trouble with a “by the book” recovery routine is it will probably end up being something you don’t follow as you don’t have the time, inclination or the money to keep it up.

The key is to come up with a post run recovery plan that is effective but also something you will realistically stick to.

This is why after my long run on a Sunday morning you won’t find me tucking into an expensive commercial recovery drink, spending half an hour following a strict stretching routine and then dunking myself in an excruciatingly painful ice-bath; I’m reasonably certain life’s too short for that sort of behaviour!

That’s not to say I don’t take my recovery seriously, my actual post long routine involves having a chocolate milk drink straight away which just happens to have the exact ratio of carbs/protein required for glycogen replenishment and muscle repair.

I combine this with a 5-minute walk to loosen everything up followed by some focused stretching of the key muscle groups that I know are my “hotspots”, for me that’s my hamstrings and glutes. For the muscle groups I’ve never had an issue with, if it ain’t broke... don’t fix it!

In recent years there have been a number of studies that actually suggest that an ice bath post training while suppressing inflammation can actually reduce the repair and adaptation process thus reducing the effect of the training itself.

This is the reason I can have a guilt free dip in my hot-tub post run rather than sitting in a bucket full of ice.

I personally feel a hot bath after a long run goes a long way to help relieve all those aches and pains both mentally and physically.

If the training plan calls for a hard speed session then as well as my usual milk drink I’ll also try and eat a small meal as soon as possible after my run, my go to easy snack being scrambled eggs on toast.

And finally do remember, the easy stuff really does work so make sure you do it.

Key rehydration times are for 2 hours after every run so keep the water intake up, decent amounts of sleep at night including the odd post run “power nap” if you can get away with it and always follow up those hard sessions with easy runs no matter how good you feel.

Tired Legs Session

Tired legs is not the time to try hitting your top pace in short interval sessions but it can be a useful for practising marathon pace as you’ll certainly have a high level of fatigue at the end of 26 miles!

Try just adding 5K sections of marathon pace into your long run at random points, listen to your body and don’t push the fatigue up to dangerous levels adding 1 to 4 intervals depending on comfort levels. 

Tip of the Month

Don’t dwell on a bad run

Disappointing races, mediocre speed sessions or short “long runs”; we all have them and quite often they happen for no reason whatsoever, so don’t dwell on them!

We can all spend far too long over analysing these bad runs when realistically you were probably just having an “off” day. Unless it becomes a common occurrence then give yourself a break and move on.

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