Nice Running Times article on the importance of recovery

October 3, 2010

The September issue of Running Times has a nice article on recovery by Julia Lucas. As runners we tend to be very good about knowing where our mileage is and comparing our mileage and paces to each other and the elites of the world. You’ll hear pride in comments like “I ran 90 miles this week” or “I ran my 5 mile tempo and was 10 seconds faster than my target pace”. When’s the last time you heard an excited statement like “I made sure I ran easy this Sunday” or “I iced my legs 4 times this week”? We might hear about peoples recovery and ancillary training but generally we share those stories under our breath.

The article had a few good pointers from elite athletes, things they do to make sure they can hit their workouts, recover and continue training successfully. I won’t go into the details of what the article discussed since you can always just pick up the magazine (I know Rogue has some copies left) but will share some of the things I know many of us in Team Rogue have successfully worked into our training.

  • Recovery Drinks – Right after you get done with the workout. The effort involved is minuscule and the benefit enormous. What can be easier than putting a single serve carton of chocolate milk in your workout bag?

    Easy, Simple and Tasty

  • Hydration – Drink water and get the right amount of electrolytes (nuun, Thermolytes, Gatorade, etc). This helps with muscle tightness, cramping, and reduces the strain on your cardio vascular system … the list is really endless.

    So Refershing

  • Ice Baths – An invaluable 10 or 15 minutes. It helps reduce inflammation and flush the crud our bodies produce in tough workouts.
  • Recovery Runs – If you don’t recover you don’t get faster. Workouts push our bodies physically and mentally, stressing them so they undergo adaptation. Those adaptations include repairing muscles, growing blood vessels and countless other things. When the hell do you expect your body to do that if you don’t take it easy sometime? If all you do is stress your body it’s going to breakdown, you’ll get sick or injured. There’s no if our but about it, it’s a matter of when.

These four things don’t really take much effort. There are lots of other things people do and recommend, rolling, massages, stretching which you can and should work in to your routine. These four are pretty simple for the return you’ll get. If you’re not willing to make this minimal effort you’re cheating yourself and reducing the chance of success of all the work you’re putting into your runs on the roads and trails. So get on with it, see you out on the roads.


Recovery after the race prep

March 9, 2010

This Sunday was another Race Prep leading to Boston. The race pre consisted of 4 sets of 5 miles at Marathon Goal Pace with decent hills. We started at Bouldin and Barton Springs and South (up-hill for the most part) for 5 miles, then back down for 5, up for another 5 and back for a total of 20 miles. A 2:45 marathon would be a 6:18 pace which I’m not really capable of right now, and it was obvious that running uphill is a bit of a struggle. Overall I did manage a 6:23 pace for the 20 miles. I wasn’t sure how the recovery would go but I’ve been pleased. I only ran 2 miles on Monday, mainly because of time and this morning ran 8 miles with Chris and Asia. It went well, a little soreness in the upper quads but that went away as I loosened up. I’m not completely recovered but the tightness and soreness isn’t too bad and is expected given the hard effort on Sunday. It’s a good thing I have a massage scheduled for Thursday.  The body and mind just need to hold up through April for the race.

Recovery runs are so nice

January 18, 2009

After the 24 mile run yesterday the recovery run today with Mike, Jason and Ken was just what the doctor ordered. We ran an easy 10 miles and I was surprised at how refreshed I felt by the end of the run.

I felt the workout from yesterday, my non-running friends that I spent the day with were continuously making fun of my slow walking. I really should have eaten better after the workout … lesson learned … again 🙂

Getting out today helped loosen the legs out and get some blood flowing to get the gunk (yes that is a technical term) out from yesterday. Tomorrow is supposed to be another 12 mile run which I’ll keep easy and then have some up tempo parts to Tuesdays 16 miler.

Recovering from a race

December 17, 2008

I ran around 5 miles this morning with Damon. One of the things we discussed, and I’ve had this discussion with a couple of other people, is the recovery process from a racing a marathon. The key word here is “racing”. During our Team Rogue training we’ve had plenty of 20+ mile runs, I did more than 15 and I was on the low count and we I had at three at or greater than the marathon distance of 26.2

Recovering from those training runs and even some of the more challenging ones with 10 or 15 miles at MGP was a one to two day process, with little fatigue and soreness in the legs. Racing CIM last weekend however has been a different story. Race pace sustained for 26.2 miles is just a world of difference. From mile 18 onwards I knew my right calf was getting tight and my Achilles in both legs was feeling tight. That’s the one area that is still nagging me in my right leg a week and a half after the marathon, but it’s understandable.

The other thing I noticed this Sunday was not tightness but an “extreme looseness” in my legs. It was almost as if there wasn’t enough tension for me to control my leg motion correctly, kind of an over-striding sensation but without really pushing my pace. Guess these are all the things the body has to re-adjust and fix up after racing a marathon and it’ll take the time it needs to.

Current Wins: Caught up with a friend over dinner, made Boston hotel plans (thanks Mike), appointments made for strength training and nutrition

Current Losses: Foot/toe issue remains, tight Achilles, poor hydration

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