Recently I saw this quote from Lauren Fleshman doing the rounds on Instagram.
I’ve typically been pretty shit when it comes to rest and recovery, and it’s even been suggested by my doctor in the past that I have issues with obsessive exercise. Oops. (This is something I’m working on). Striking more of a balance has always been a struggle and a focus for me, but this quote particularly struck a chord with me because it makes me think of rest and recovery as part of the work and part of the discipline. It might take discipline to get up at dawn for a workout, but that same discipline is required to rein it in and treat your body with the respect it deserves. And in the end, that will pay off.
Here are some things I’ve been doing to allow my body to recover- some of them are individual to me, but some may help you too!
Drinking plenty of fluids
Here are my go-to choices for hydration in the summer months.
Ice baths are not a regular thing for me, but I have them after a particularly brutal workout, usually when I can feel a twinge, pain, strain or cramp coming on. I climb reluctantly in, put some Netflix on, sip on a hot cuppa and try to take my mind off the cold. I’ll typically stay in for 15-30 minutes, depending on how beaten up my legs are.
Super hot epsom salt baths
These are more regular for me. I really find the hot water relaxes my muscles and helps them do their recovery thing. However, these are not relaxing hot baths- they’re the kind of hot that makes you suffer a bit. I always take in a big bottle of water and keep well hydrated!
I bought a pair of Skins at the start of the year, and I have to say I’m a huge fan. I can’t honestly say to what extent they’ve affected my recovery times, but they certainly feel nice and yummy on my legs. I would often sleep in them in the lead up to Manchester marathon, since the cold of winter would give me restless, slightly crampy legs when I slept
As someone who’s had problems with calf tightness, plantar fasciitis and an achilles injury, I really rely on compression socks. My favourite pair are from Compressport, but I also have several More Mile pairs. Recently when I was having that irritating not-quite-cramp, I put my compression socks on until I could get home to stretch and hop into an ice bath. It really felt like they were holding my calf muscles together at that stage!
Guilt-free Netflix sessions
Every once in a while we all need an evening in, cuddled up in a blanket fort and watching Netflix. They’re definitely an indulgence of mine- having the free time to myself is really a treat!
I mean this is pretty self-explanatory- sleep more! I recently posted the new routine I’m trying to put in place to get more sleep, and I have to say they really work if you’re disciplined enough! I try to get my long run in on Saturday morning so I can have a lovely lie in on the Sunday.
A multivitamin with Iron, Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium
I try to eat a well-rounded diet with plenty of micronutrients, but I also know that I have a tendency towards anaemia. Plus, calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D are all important for bone health- and stress fractures are a runner’s worst nightmare!
What are your recovery go-to products?
Lots of love,