Recovering sufficiently after your workouts is perhaps the most important part of your training. If you do not recover sufficiently after your workout you may have just rendered your training ineffective. You need to let your body recover in order for it to make the necessary adaptations to your training.
Therefore it is unfortunate that many runners actually hamper their recovery due to poor advice. Here are five common ways that runners hinder their recovery so that you can avoid making these same mistakes.
You Take Ibuprofen or Advil
It is extremely common when faced with some soreness or a slight tweak to take some Ibuprofen or Advil due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Due to further research on the subject we now know that anti-inflammatory drugs hinder and may even cancel out any beneficial adaptations brought about by our training.
We used to believe that inflammation delayed healing and therefore by treating it as soon as possible would kick start recovery. From further research we now know that inflammation is a crucial part of the natural healing process undertaken by our body. This is because the body uses inflammation to active our muscle repairing cells such as leukocytes.
Poor Post Workout Nutrition
It is of utmost importance to feed your body with the nutrients that it needs after you have put it through a hard workout so kick start recovery and the repairing process.
Whilst the absolute timing is not of utmost importance getting in an adequate amount is. Timing does become important if you train more than once per day. If you do train more than once per day then eating plenty of post workout carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen levels becomes important. Some people recommend placing the majority of your daily carbohydrate intake straight after training in this case.
Poor post workout nutrition can often come about due to the outdated belief that not eating before and after a workout will help them lose weight. Whilst it is true you will burn more fat during the workout it will balance out over a 24 hour period. It is incredibly arrogant to think that you can outsmart your body that is extremely efficient due to evolution. So stop trying to trick it, it’s an exercise in futility.
On the other hand you will have a group of people who claim you need to get something to eat immediately after you stop running or within a 30 minute window. Unless you are going to train again the same day, this is just false. The major goal of post workout nutrition is to restore glycogen levels for your next training session your body has plenty of time to do that naturally following its normal eating patterns. For this reason don’t worry about absorption rates of various foods, leave that nonsense to the bodybuilders who think it actually matters.
You Don’t Stretch, Foam Roll or Get Massages
Stretching and more specifically static stretching has been under fire by the scientific community as it has become known that the benefits of this type of stretching are very limited and in some cases increase the chance of injury. It hasn’t been shown to aid in recovery either.
That being said, you shouldn’t ignore completely but you shouldn’t be overdoing it and you shouldn’t be doing it exclusively after a workout. Ther