Regular bouts of uncomfortable soreness can inhibit your training progress and make getting up in the morning an unpleasant experience, so here are 5 training, nutrition, and recovery tips for maximizing run recovery.
1. Vary your running terrain. Constantly pounding your muscles with repetitive training on the same course or surface can lead to overtraining. To minimize this effect, choose a variety of training courses and surfaces such as hills, flats, trails, grass, gravel and dirt.
2. Train intelligently. Running on consecutive days, or performing hard sessions on consecutive days, is guaranteed to require longer recovery and result in greater soreness. Instead, try to space hard workouts by 48 hours, and use the in-between days for non-weight bearing crosstraining like bicycling or aqua jogging.
3. Prioritize your post-workout meal. Skipping fuel after a run can result in a lack of carbohydrate to replenish storage energy and lack of protein-based amino acids to repair damaged muscle fibers. Try to consume your post-workout meal within 20 minutes after a run, and choose a mix of protein and carbohydrate, like almonds and blueberries, peanut butter and toast, or chicken and brown rice.
4. Cool your muscles. Ice and cold water are powerful natural anti-inflammatories. Simply taking a cold shower after a workout and aiming the spray at your legs can dramatically improve your recovery. If you have time, fill your bathtub with ice, or wade into a cold river or lake after your workout.
5. Use nutritional recovery supplements. For years, professional athletes have utilized powerful compounds called proteolytic enzymes and ³branched chain amino acids to speed-up repair of connective tissue and provide the body with rapid recovery nutrients. You can these compounds in dietary supplements at many health food or supplement outlets.
Folks, your run ain't over when it's over. It's over after you've recovered. Follow that rule, and you'll run for many years to come...
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