As athletes we always prioritise training and do everything we can to squeeze it all in, so much so, that we often forget the importance of recovery. More often than not, recovery is just as important as any form of training, because without good recovery, we would not be able to train to the level we want. Over the past couple of years, I have made a strong effort to prioritise recovery, and I am definitely noticing the benefits of doing so between sessions. I simply feel better for longer. Here are a few of my top recovery tips:
Embrace the massage gun.
Ever since the Pulse Roll massage gun came into my life, I have been a complete convert. They are definitely not hyped up enough because their recovery benefits are great. I use my massage gun both before and in between runs on a daily basis. It is great for the former as it helps loosen up your legs before you head out the door, and even better for the latter as you can get into those tighter areas to boost your recovery. The massage gun allows you to give yourself a more general massage, more frequently, as ultimately, you can’t go to see a sports therapist on a daily basis. This is great for maintenance and keeps any tight areas loose, preventing them from building up and causing bigger problems. Get yours here and use the code Hannah15 for 15% off.
Stretch and foam roll.
Stretching and foam rolling is another tool that us runners are quick to neglect. It can seem boring and time consuming, but it doesn’t need to be. To avoid boredom you can do it infront of the television in the evening, and you can do as much as 10 minutes a day to notice some benefits. Whilst a degree of muscle tightness is good for runners, stretching and foam rolling prevents things getting too tight, and again causing injury. It also helps improve your range of movement, allowing you to lift those knees higher, helping you drive through the motions when you are running at speed.
This is quite possibly one of the most important recovery tips there is. If you want to recover well, you need to provide your body with the energy to do so. There is no better way to do this, than by fuelling your body well before, after and in between runs/sessions. I try to have some form of recovery as soon as I have finished my cool down after a session. This usually takes the form of a recovery drink. I use Drink EO3, but milk can be a great alternative. It is then important to make sure you are eating plenty in between runs, but also that you are giving your body plenty of nutrient rich foods, to ensure your body is not lacking anything. Good food is a great recovery tip. Just remember to EAT EVERYTHING in balance, so don’t deny yourself of any foods!
Personally, I find active recovery is great. It isn’t for everyone, and it is important to keep it super super light. For me, I enjoy a short easy stroll. In between runs, this just helps to keep my body moving smoothly, and stops everything from seizing up from being sat down. It flushes my legs out a little and gets me feeling slightly looser. Active recovery could also refer to hopping on the cross trainer on a non-running day, or going for a super easy run on another day. It is important to do what allows you to keep fluid.
This is quite possibly the easiest form of recovery going, but again, one we are all quick to compromise when life gets busy. When we go to sleep, a lot of recovery and adaptation takes place, something that is essential to us. If this gets compromised, it is likely we won’t recover to the same extent, which will also increase our risk of injury. Ensuring you get around 8 hours of sleep each day will allow your body to recover optimally, and keep your legs running.
I hope these recovery tips that benefit me also help you.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!