Friday, July 13, 2012

Running & Recovery (part 2)

Recovery
Following on from last weeks Fitness Friday post I am also working on better techniques and food to aid recovery. I am always utterly gimped after a long run, and it's typically on a weekend morning so I'm pretty lousy company for the rest of the day. Not cool. As well as the general achiness I'm so, so tired. With my longer runs this year I'm working hard to try as many different recovery techniques as possible! 

First of all food and drink. As soon as I walk in the door I'm getting to slug a big glass of chocolate milk (with it's perfect 3:1 ratio of carbs and protein). Then within the hour I also have a wholewheat muffin and nut butter (and a little homemade jam just to sweeten it up). The rest of the day I try and eat well and often and LOTS of water. That side of things I'm not too bad at.

This weekend I also started trying some other things to ease my weary body. Namely 'The Ice Bath'. OMG!! Chris ran a 8" bath of cold water, which was enough to cover my legs and up to my hips when sat down, to which we added a few ice cubes. I admit - not that many for my first time, but it could have been all the ice in the Artic for what it felt like. I'm surprised I didn't give myself a heart attack. Really. I shivered uncontrollably for the first 3 minutes. Around minute 10 my legs and feet went numb and a strangely warming sensation took over. When I got out after 15 minutes I had Chris help as I seriously doubted the ability of my feet to hold me up - there was no feeling left anymore. I don't know how these people tough these out on a regular basis. Like I said I only had a couple of trays of ice added to my bath water. Once showered, I also applied Arnica gel around my knees. However unpleasant the ice bath was I think it might actually have helped. Generally I felt less achy later in the day. I also added a 45 minute afternoon nap into the mix. Overall results of this weekends experiments in recovery are encouraging!

What other techniques do you use? Any great food choices I should try? I have bought some Vega 'Recovery' drink powder. I'm skeptical and I'm cheap so I'm not sure I want to go down this route - I do like to find the fuel for my body from wholesome natural sources rather than easy-come powders and pills, but it was a sample sachet and I'm up for experimenting right now - it's kinda fun!!

5 comments:

  1. I just can't do the ice bath thing! As far as recovery I too tend to avoid the comercial products but stick with higher protein snacks like oatmeal with almonds and fruit or a smoothie with a little added nut butter. I do use protein powder at times but stick with the plain kinds without all the added ingredients.

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  2. I have yet to try an ice bath. The closest I've gotten is sitting in the Atlantic Ocean post run. That's pretty darn cold. My bones hurt so I'm assuming it's similar.

    Sounds like you're on the right path for refueling post long run!

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  3. I haven't done an ice bath either, and I just read an article that said it has mixed reviews.
    My favorite trick post long run is compression gear- I use the recovery sock or tommie copper calf sleeves. It's helped a lot with leg recovery, but I have no magic answer for the exhaustion, except that I think your body adjusts and it will get easier!

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  4. Your food sounds great for a recovery, maybe it will just take a bit of time for it to start sinking in. I have yet to ever do an ice bath, I just cant do it!!

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  5. I've considered ice baths but have yet to try one.

    I'm a Vega fan! I don't use all of their products that I would like to due to the expense. The All In One is awesome for post workout/run.


    [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

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