I used to be the runner that would go finish a marathon (or any distance for that matter) and the next day think I was totally ready to go run again. Certainly some of that is part of the addiction of running, but most of it was thinking that recovery was for the birds.
I used to be the runner that would go go go – the longer the better right?! Fast and Long Method. Is that even a method?! And to top it off, I would never stretch, roll, ice, or eat for recovery.
So is what they say about recovery true? YES. It is a MUST!
I made the change to proper recovery after being injured for 2 years or so because of overuse injuries and not recovering – ever. Seriously, it makes a HUGE difference. I went from my own methods, or thinking I was invincible, to the Stress and Rest Method – which was, of course, recommended by my coach, Rivs.
I stress my body out a LOT – doubler days, high miles, high stress. And then Rest. I stretch at least 2-3 times a week (and roll – a personal hell!!) and I take full rest days – this is critical. After Black Canyon, I rested for 3 full days and no running for an entire week. Makes a HUGE difference. I promise you, recovery is the most important part to succeeding.
What about food?
Before I didn’t do anything for recovery! Ya know, because that means that I’ll lose weight. WRONG. You have to eat for your sport otherwise expect a big fail. When you don’t eat for your sport before, during, or after…your stress hormones stay elevated and then you have no change in body shape/size/body fat. You have to eat those lost calories back and more to support your sport and metabolism. So for recovery, I immediately, in the first 30 minutes have a EAS protein shake and some fruit – easy to take with me anywhere. And then in the next hour, I may make some eggs, sweet potatoes, and drink skim milk; or eat a high protein cereal with milk; anything that gives me about a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. And i always ensure 25g of protein when I eat meals. Maintaining lean mass is so important as a runner! It’s very easy for runners to lose their muscle.
When I recover properly, runs and workouts become significantly easier! Makes a huge difference in my performance and training. Consider it. I bet you will feel much better with a solid recovery.