One of the most important times for me is between workouts. I need to do everything I can to recover and be ready for the next big workout. There are many different things I use and do almost every day. Here are 10 of my top favorites!
1. EAT WITHIN 30 MIN
After a big workout, it’s very important to fuel soon after. There is a 30 minute window of time where the body needs those calories for recovery. Ideally, you want a 4:1 carb to protein ratio. If that isn’t available, grab whatever. Something is better than nothing.
This is an obvious one. It’s free and easy to implement. It’s also one of the most important. If you aren’t sleeping enough, you are missing out on so much. There is recovery that happens during sleep that can’t happen otherwise. I aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If I get less than that, I almost always try to fit in a good nap.
This is another easy and obvious one. Hydrate. Water is cheap- drink up! Every part of the body functions better when it is well hydrated. I try to get half my weight in ounces and a little more based on the miles I’ve run in the day. Hitting around 70-80 ounces has been great for me.
I can’t go a day without my Oofos recovery sandals since I bought them. I originally bought them for tight arches, but they feel good all the time. I have hardwood floors in my house and these sandals make a massive difference for my body.
There have been several debates about the importance of stretching over the years. One of my college coaches always had me stretch. The other coach did not. What I have found is that if you have imbalances and unusually tight muscles, stretch! The best time to stretch is shortly after your workout when the muscles are warm. Save the dynamic stretching for before the workout.
6. RAPID REBOOT
Not a cheap option, but one of my favorites. These compression sleeves are amazing at flushing the system out and circulating the blood and lymphatic system. Icing has always been a go to for me in the past, but lately I am hearing more and more that cold therapies can sometimes slow recovery down. There are running stores, like Runner’s Corner, where you can pay per use and cut your cost down.
7. MASSAGE TOOLS
There are many tools for working out the muscles, including foam rollers, massage sticks, lacrosse balls, or even a Hypervolt (one of my favorites). Sometimes leaving the muscles alone is the best option, but when there’s a knot or a tight muscle, these come in handy.
Getting a professional massage is always amazing! Don’t count yourself out though. Working through your own muscles can actually be really great. You know your own body and so working through your own muscles allows you to be in tune with what is tight and exactly where it needs to be worked out.
9. EPSOM SALT BATH
One of my favorites. 1 cup of Epsom salt in hot water for about 20 minutes. This does wonders for sore and tired legs. I like to do an Epsom bath 2-3 times a week, based on how my legs are feeling.
10. SLOW RUNNING
If you haven’t read Coach Stazza’s article on running slow, give it a read. Read it again. Let it sink in. Run slow to run fast. Adaptation needs to occur to get faster and if you keep breaking the legs down, it won’t happen as quickly and injury will be more likely.
These are definitely my favorite things to stay healthy and recover quickly. Any other tips on how to recover better? I would love to hear them.