September Recover

It’s the second day after your race and your muscles have turned their backs on you.  Trying to get back in their good graces, you stretch, apply muscle rub, and roll across a foam roller.  No luck.  They just don’t like you right about now.

What you are seeking is your body’s recovery;  that rest that actually feels like you’ve rested.  The kind that replenishes your supply of “yes, I can”.  How about taking a more active approach?

Active recovery is building credibility in the research.  One study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that completing a low-intensity workout on the rest day after a competition did not inhibit recovery and actually contributed to relaxation through improved psychological recovery.  Most theories surround the idea of muscle use to eliminate the blood lactate levels that built up during the race.  And, the pumping mechanism of the muscles is a very efficient method to do this.

Most modern training plans utilize interval training.  This is a means of active recovery.  The high intensity pace is interspersed with a moderate and lower intensity paced session.  Thus, the concept is probabl
y not new to you.  The key to active recovery is ensuring that you are not fatiguing the muscles in any way.  Decrease the intensity, duration, and volume of the workout so that you feel better at the end than you did at the start.  Use that slow, light workout to hone your technique or form.  Or, use it to rekindle the flame of what you love about your sport.  Cross train, giving other muscle groups a chance to take the reigns.

Remember, your body was built to move - even as you recover.

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