Train hard, recover harder!

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When it comes to recovery endurance athletes are a stubborn bunch.  Most prefer to push forward day after day. While such a work ethic is admirable it’s likely to lead to injuries and some pretty significant mental fatigue.  Recovery plays a vital role in getting the most out of each training session, ultimately improving your performance and helping you achieve your goals.  Here are a few tips to help with your recovery.

Get Quality Sleep

Getting adequate quality sleep is one of the easiest ways to improve your performance. It’s crucial to maximise restorative sleep time.  Develop a regular routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time daily and aiming for between 7 - 9 hours of sleep a night.  Reduce screen time in the hour before bed and use ‘nightshift’ or apps that remove blue light from devices in non daylight hours, f.lux is a good one.

Recovery Nutrition

Nutrition is one of the pillars of an effective endurance training program. Ensure you are aiding recovery by giving your body what it needs when it’s most open and able to absorb it especially after the longer more intense training sessions or races.

Rehydrate

Generally when you train or race for a longer periods of time in warmer conditions you’ll end up in a state of dehydration.  It’s vital to rehydrate (including adequate sodium intake) to aid recovery.  If your pee is dark in colour, or you can’t go for a wee chances are you need to get fluid in.  As a rule of thumb when your urine is lighter in colour you are adequately hydrated.

Massage & Stretching

Ideally you’d be having reguar massage to aid recovery.  If that just is not possible do self-massage with a foam roller or tennis ball and supplement with a massage every 10 days or so.  Also incorporate regular stretching, this is just something you should be doing regardless!

Stick to the Plan

Your coach prescribes workouts on particular days at varying intensities for a reason, same goes for complete rest days or active recovery sessions.  It’s all part of the plan to maintain your ability to train towards achieving your goals.  Stick to the plan to aid recovery, resist the urge to include sessions that aren’t planned or try and go just that little bit harder because you’re feeling good.  When there is a rest day in the scheduled enjoy it, it’s there for a reason!

Train hard, recover harder!

Paul Cadman