My Recovery Times

After a long 9 weeks off running, and another several months of incredible caution and hypochondria, I’m now back to training regularly. I’m hitting decent paces and reaching good mileage for this stage in marathon training. The only thing is, my recovery times are absolutely atrocious.Β After my long runs, I just want to sleep all day. I feel run down and achey for the rest of the day, and then the DOMs hit and leave me waddling around the office like a penguin.

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I’m not complaining unnecessarily; this is part of training, and it feels great to have earnt the aches, and to know I’m working hard and pushing my body. But I’m also aware I have to keep doing this for another 10 weeks.

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So my question to you, my internet friends, is this: how do I improve my recovery times? I think my stretching and foam rolling is pretty on point (although not as frequent and thorough as I’d like), so I think I need to look at my nutrition.

Do you have a specific post-run routine? A drink? Snack?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!Β 

Lots of love,

Pippa

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19 thoughts on “My Recovery Times

  1. I typically do a long run on Saturday and then a short bike ride on Sunday. I’ve noticed that I’m often super sore on Sunday morning. But after my bike ride, my legs feel so much better. I like a short ride because it’s not stressing the exact same muscles/tendons/whatever, but it does loosen up my legs in general and help alleviate soreness. The other thing is icing (or ice baths, if you can swing it). It sucks, but it helps.

    What do you normally eat after a long run? I notice I have a tendency to collapse on the couch afterwards and neglect drinking water or refueling after a long run which isn’t good! I kind of like soda after a run, but that’s actually probably terrible for me, so I’m not officially suggesting it! πŸ™‚

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    1. I have tried ice baths previously- think I might have to give them another go! I’m kinda bad at eating quickly after a run, I tend to leave it way too long until I start to feel shitty and light headed. Think it might be time to plan more strategically and have protein shakes etc.

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  2. That’s so exciting to be back to training! As far as your recovery times, some of it will improve as your body gets used to training again. But if you’re looking for an extra boost, I really like this “recovery smoothie”: I throw in a cup of tart cherry juice, a half-pinkie-finger size portion of fresh turmeric root (tastes so much milder than the powdered stuff), and a handful or two of frozen mango (or pineapple, but i prefer mango), and the liquid of your choice. That by itself is good IMO, or from there you can add whatever else you like: greens, protein, fats, anything!

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  3. I agree with racingoprah about the tart cherry juice. I incorporated last fall as part of my recovery during my half marathon training. My full routine was: come home, contrast shower, put icy gel on my calves, throw on compression sleeves, do some yoga (downward dog was awesome), and then have a recovery smoothie with the cherry juice or have something with the tart cherry on the side. Overall I recovered faster and had much less residual pain then previous race training.

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  4. I have found I feel much better now I take a good vitamin supplement every day. Also having a can of Nurishment after a hard session as this contains vitamins too. I think as runners we burn through vitamins more quickly so taking more than the recommended one-a-day occasionally/after a hard work out can only do you good. Well it seems to have worked for me! Give it a try. At worst it’ll do nothing. Though it might take a few months for you to feel the benefits.

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  5. I like going to yoga once a week. Not just following along with a video or doing the stretches at home, but actually going and being forced to relax and stretch out for a full hour.

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  6. I find taking B12 helps me, but also making sure I fuel while training when I run anything longer than 2 hours. Water for anything over 70 minutes is vital for me, but after that I also find Gatorade useful, and Gu or something after the 2 hours. But like I said, that’s me.
    A lot of it is also conditioning. You’ll find it all gets easier as you get through it… just like it was the time you first started getting fit (if that’s within your memory πŸ˜‰

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  7. I have recently started doing a recovery run of 15-30 minutes the day after hard workouts. I keep it REALLY easy… like 70% max heart rate, which is about 90 seconds slower than long run pace. It helps so much.

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  8. This may seem obvious, but how slow are your long runs? You may want to consider slowing them down. Long runs are meant to build endurance, not speed, so taking them slower and keeping your heart rate lower is beneficial to keeping them aerobic and helps you recover more quickly. If you’re running in an anaerobic state, your body is going to be worn out. Slowing down all of my easy runs helped me to run almost double the mileage per week that I was used to without being overly tired. I’m sure you see on my blog all the time that I preach slower running so I highly recommend that. Another thing to consider is what you’re consuming right after your run. If you’re not getting proper nourishment within the short time frame following your run, it will be harder for your body to recover. Both running too fast and not getting enough post-run nutrients can both be reasons you bonk out the rest of the day!

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  9. I have chocolate milk immediately after a long run- Koko (?) do a coconut version which is good if you are dairy-free. I also wear Absolute360 leggings which I can wear with boots and a skirt if necessary, not compression but use infra-red which means they are more comfortable. Then in the evening I will have a hot bath ( I don’t do ice baths) with Epsom salts in it. Food-wise I try to eat something high in protein like lean meat/fish/chicken/beans with lots of veg and brown rice or baked potato.

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  10. Post long run, I have a bit of a routine. I’ve been a bit lazy with it lately. I change my clothes IMMEDIATELY (I get super cold after running if I don’t), eat something with lots of protein, and take a quick shower. For high protein snacks, I like a smoothie, a bar, even a yogurt (I like the Icelandic stuff, skyr, for its high protein and low sugar). I stretch and foam roll for a bit, and then I (ugh) hop in an ice bath for 20 minutes. I usually get about 15lbs of ice and dump it in the tub, get in and turn on the cold water. I can’t fill it up and bring myself to get in. You go numb after a few minutes and it isn’t horrible. Then I get on warm clothes and hopefully have time for a short nap and wake up feeling decent. I like to have a real meal after I wake up, too.

    For the ice bath, sometimes I can’t seem to get warm no matter what I do. I try to get warm on my own and let my body warm itself up, but if I can’t warm up after about 30 minutes, I’ll get in the shower again. It’s a process. I haven’t been so diligent lately but if I do that, I feel good. Good luck!

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  11. I found that switching my long run form the weekend to a weeknight really helped me. I made sure that food was ready for me when I got home, then I had a shower and went straight to bed. An extra hour of sleep made all the difference to me. Good luck!

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