Recovery Techniques Every Runner Ought to Know
July 19, 2021
When we are talking about intense cardio workouts or a long run, how you rest after your session and also in-between sessions is just as important as how you warm up before starting the session. These types of extreme cardio workouts really do take a toll on your body. It is mainly because your glycogen levels are a lot depleted after a strenuous cardio session. These sessions will also break down your muscle fibers and just make you very tired after your workout.
In the following few paragraphs, we are going to take a look at six ways in which you can improve your recovery after a session. Proper recovery will also increase your overall performance as well.
Proper Nutrition and Proper Hydration
There are certain foods, which, when taken together, can really help you from getting soreness after a, particularly strenuous run. These are mainly complex carbohydrates and also the protein that can really help both repair your muscles and also help with rebuilding them.
Most diet experts recommend that you aim for a three to one ratio of complex carbohydrates to protein. It is also important, according to these experts, to have a snack after 30 mins of your workout session. This is the time when the muscles of your body are very receptive to replenishing the body’s stored glycogen.
You may even try to have a post-workout snack ready before you head out to go run. In this way, you will place yourself in a much better position to make healthier choices. You will not be tempted to just grab whatever is in front of you.
One other thing that you really ought to pay attention to is to make sure you are getting enough water into your body as well. This will help regulate your blood pressure, body temperature, and it will also greatly help with the transportation of important nutrients throughout your body.
To properly rehydrate yourself, only drink water if you run for a period shorter than 90 minutes. If you had run more than 90 minutes at a time, your body could really use a sports drink.
Remember to Stretch or Walk After Your Session
There are a lot of mixed opinions on stretching for runners and whether or not it is actually important. However, if you are to stretch, then doing it right after a long-running session seems like the best time to do it. This is the time when the muscles of the body are pliable and also warm.
You should ideally spend about 30 seconds per side doing these particular stretches in right posture. So, remember to do them gently, especially if you run for 90 minutes or even longer.
It is important to remember that stretching before you run can often leave you exposed to the possibility of muscle tears. This is why it is recommended that you do your dynamic stretching after you have done a small jog at least.
If you have just run for about 90 minutes or more, you will be better off walking for a little while rather than stretching. This is applicable if you still have enough time and energy in you after the walk. When you run for such long periods, your muscles will be very tired and you will run the risk of acute damage to your muscles if you stretch during this time.
There is also a window of about 20 minutes following a particularly strenuous workout where it is ideal for the body to get some protein.
This is an excellent way to reduce the inflammation in your muscles and also lower the soreness that your entire body is feeling. Many people are not too fond of the concept of ice baths but if you are a runner, this can really help you a lot. You don’t have to be completely naked while taking the ice bath. A good idea is to wear some short clothing and to take your hot beverage with you while you do the ice bath. If you really cannot tolerate ice baths, one other thing that you can do is to use ice packs. Use ice packs on the areas of your body that you know are more prone to getting sore.
Your Activities Should Be Mixed Up
One of the best ways to make sure that your muscles are protected against being overworked is to do cross-training. There will be days when you will need to give yourself a break from running. It may be a very good idea to do some low-impact activities during this time. You can try out different things like strength training, yoga, biking, etc.
Just going for a short walk can give the muscles you use for running a break without having to give up on exercise.
Try Light Therapy
Light therapy is a form of therapy that is making waves in the health and fitness industries. This is not without reason and it is definitely not just a hype or trend. Light therapy can really help with a whole host of conditions and it can do so quite safely and efficiently. Light therapy is helpful for many athletes, in many ways.
Light therapy works by emulating the natural light of the outdoors in an indoor environment. Light therapy devices are normally able to deliver light that is 10,000 lux units strong.
When you use a light therapy device, you will be able to recover much better from your running sessions. You should ideally use this device early on in the morning. Prolonged use of this device can really help with your muscle soreness and cut down recovery time.