Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pick of the Week- Rest & Recover

Rest & Recovery have been the key themes in my training (or lack of) since the Molesworth 2 weeks ago, so I figure I will share a few things I find work well for me in aiding recovery.
I think recovering from a high intensity workout or an ultra run is pretty similar, the big difference is how long it is gonna take and that often is the difference between a good athlete and a great athlete, how long, or how well our body takes to recover from one effort to the next. 
Stretching- I love stretching , it's such a great way to relax your legs and give "new life" to tired, tight muscles. Lately how every I have gotten pretty slack and my daily stretching routine is almost non existent. I did a lot in the first 48hrs after the Molesworth.
Massage- I am pretty lucky to have a massage therapist as a neighbor in Castle Hill, so this is dead easy for me. I also got a massage straight after the race, which did wonders.
Compression- I am pretty new to compression wear, but if you believe the hype it works wonders. I'm not sold, I am also not not sold. I find they work well if you ever get twitchy legs while trying to get to sleep. They do seem to relax them then.
Active Rest- I used to think that a rest day meant doing nothing, but I now think of all my rest days as "active rest". A short bike ride, a walk around the block or a short swim, even an easy 30mins on the CHV trails I all consider active rest, which I think is a key, and sometimes overlooked, part of training. The day after the Molesworth, or any race, I make an effort to get out the door, choosing a short bike ride because of its low impact. I also did a little swimming that week. I still have days were I do nothing (today for example), this is when I feel I really need it. It's a fine line between resting your body and losing fitness.
Post Feast- The post race/workout feast, my favorite part of the recovery process. Sometimes I think the only reason I beat myself up is so I can indulge. Post Molesworth dinner was a burger and fries, but normally it's things like tuna, salad, pasta, Kumara and my all time favorite, a smoothie. I am pretty proud of my smoothie making skills and here's my brew for post run - 1 banana, a generous helping of frozen mixed berries, about one cup of light soy milk (I can't handle drinking a heap of full fat dairy milk, and soy milk tastes pretty good in smoothies), or half cup soy milk, half apple juice, a scoop of protein powder (I use Vanilla Bean CytoSport Whey) and maybe a few blocks of ice. Blend all this up and you have a pretty mean recovery formula! Another nice one is low fat milk, a banana, a scoop of Milo, a little vanilla essence and some ice cubes.
What are some of the things you do for recovery?
The last 2 weeks of recovery has gone well for me, with walks, bike rides and even a few solid runs. It's now time to refocus and get serious about training again!

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"The skier who forsakes the lifts to climb under his own power to a mountain summit is a very different person from the downhill only piste basher and is often regarded by the latter as something of a curiosity.
But he was the creator of the sport; and possibly with him lies the future"
-Robin Fedden, The book of Europen Skiing, 1966
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