Sick Sick Sick
I woke up Friday morning feeling less-than stellar. I am hoping it is just a 24/48 hour kind of thing. Keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve been working a lot this week so I think it could be a combination of being tired and being around little kids.
These were my best friends all day Friday.
I ran the first 4 days of this week and besides for my tough run on Tuesday, it went pretty well.
I am taking off Friday and Saturday since I work all day and to allow my body some time regroup.
Since starting back running I’ve been dealing with what I like to call “dead leg.” The ability for my legs to recover from one day to the next.
I realize I am not running any substantial amount of miles yet, but after taking the time off due to my injury even 4-5 miles can require recovery.
If your legs don’t properly recover from one day to the next, you can increase your chances of injury. We all know that I am not one who wants to do that.
Here are a few things I have been doing recently that have really helped my legs recover.
Water and I used to be enemies. I would drink it when I had to during runs, but I always knew I was lacking proper hydration. I guess we can choke this up to laziness.
If you are running while dehydrated this can cause excess stress and wear on your muscles and reduce your body’s ability to be able to repair itself after a run.
Even when you don’t feel like it, try adding just 2-3 more glasses of water per day. Remember, if you are running you will need to drink more than just the recommended 8 glasses a day to make up for the hydration you lose during a run.
I actually haven’t done this yet since starting back, but previously during training on the days I could talk myself in to a cold “bath” after a run dramatically helped my legs ability to recover.
A cold bath can be taken anywhere. Sometimes I stand in the shower, turn the water on cold and let my legs rest in it a while. Other times, I will get in the neighborhood pool if it is cool enough or even a local lake.
Studies have shown that a cold dip after a run or any exercise can reduce soreness and inflammation for up to 24 hours. (source)
It’s hard to do, but worth it!
I used to be the girl that never took a day off. Sure, this works for some people and it did for me for a while. However, now I have learned that my body recovers so much better when I make sure to get at least one day of complete rest.
There are so many factors that go into how much rest your body needs. Age, fitness level and nutrition are just a few of them.
The best thing to do is feel it out. Some weeks you may need more rest than others.
Here is an interesting article that discusses the effects of music on recovery.
We all know that fast paced music can help get us moving and push through the tough workouts, but this article discusses the possibility that slow, easy music can aid in recovery.
The study found those those that listened to slow music during recovery showed faster recovery rates that those with no music or fast music.
We’ve all heard that we are supposed to get protein in after a hard workout. Yes, protein is important but after a workout I like to try and get not only a protein but a complex carbohydrate as well.
It doesn’t have to be a full blown meal, but I have found that by adding a slow digesting carb to my diet after a workout it allows my energy levels to sustain themselves and helps give my body some recovery fuel.
I am actually in the process of putting a list together of all of the supplements my husband and I both use to aid in recovery.
Glutamine has always been at the top of the list. I’ve written about it previously on the blog.
During a workout or run your body releases glutamine (an amino acid) into your bloodstream which can then deplete the amount that is in your body. When this happens the muscle tissue in your body can begin to break down. If you supplement glutamine after a workout then it can begin to replenish and promote muscle growth. It helps to avoid the breakdown of the muscle and speed up your recovery.
There are still skeptics out there on glutamine, but I can tell a difference in my body when I use it during recovery and when I don’t. Glutamine wins for me!
What are some of your must-have recovery items?
What are your Saturday plans? Anyone get a run in?
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