Daily Recovery Strategies for Runners

The cowbell sounds for the Blackwell Dairy Run in Kamloops, British Columbia
Challenging yourself by running a little faster or farther sets the table for recovering from this effort, and most importantly, getting fitter for the next effort. Not only do runners need to be knowledgeable about a variety of training runs, they need to be well-versed in a variety of recovery opportunities available:

Recovery During a Training Run
As discussed in a previous post on the INTERVAL RUN, the recovery interval serves to control fatigue allowing the runner to extend faster-paced training in a workout. Also, during a longer distance run, a recovery interval of walking serves to extend endurance. Yet, it's important to keep in mind that taking a jog or walk break is allowed for any sort of training run. Using myself as an example, if I need a short break during a training run, I’ll do a 15 - 20 second walk to reset before continuing my run.

Recovery After a Run 
For the first 30 minutes or so post-run, the body is extra receptive when it comes to replenishing glycogen stores. Sources suggest including a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein to help speed recovery in this time window. Chocolate milk is close to this ratio and is thought to be an easy to obtain recovery drink. In this window of time, carbohydrate stores used during a run can be replenished by 200 - 300% the normal rate. Also, doing some HIP MOBILITY EXERCISES helps running-specific muscles recover.

Recovery from Life Events
Like most everyone else, the challenge of balancing family, career, and community roles impacts runners, too. Methods to recover from the “daily grind” are necessary. First of all, it’s important to recognize that stress associated with the grind can lower the motivation to train. Scheduling easy days to be outdoors for stress relief and meditative benefits of running, even spending time listening to a ‘meditation playlist’ of personally selected songs can help daily recovery.

Recovery Through Sleep
Imagine doing your regular training and not having it count towards getting fitter! Well that can happen if runners don’t get adequate sleep. It seems runners should target at least seven hours of sleep each night to get the most out of their training. Interestingly, professional runners on average target nine hours of sleep each night and usually have an afternoon nap, too. Sleep provides a whole host of recovery benefits - repairs cell damage, strengthens immune system, improves flexibility, lowers stress - just to name a few. The key point is that sleep needs to be considered part of the training program - and needs to be prioritized and targeted, too.
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Thank you for reading.

For more on recovery, check out: Building in Recovery to the Training Program


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Experiment of One Coaching covers topics ranging from running, strength training, health & wellness, sports nutrition to travel. I usually post once or twice a month.