Recovering After A Race

After Saturday’s rough half marathon, I’ve spent this week focusing on recovering. That can mean different things for everyone but for me, based on the plan and directions Gia provided for me, it revolves around a few key areas:

  • Protein
  • Rest
  • Selective workouts
  • Yoga

Protein is very important for muscle recovery by helping rebuild muscle fibers. Runners put their body through a great deal of impact every time their foot strikes the asphalt. Therefore, it is important to increase your protein intake the week before a race and after a race.  Below are a few of my favorite ways to sneak protein into my day.

  • 1/2 to 1 serving of protein powder mixed into my morning oatmeal
  • handful of almonds with my morning or afternoon fruit
  • add an extra protein into my salads (edamame, hard boiled egg, shrimp, chicken, nuts, cheese, quinoa)
  • top my veggie burger with an egg
  • eggs for dinner
  • chocolate milk after my morning or evening workout

Yes mom, I'll pour it in a glass next time.

Rest was the last thing on my mind last week. It was a very busy work week and blogging week due to multiple events. Therefore, I didn’t get to bed until 11 most nights last week, meaning that my body was only resting for six hours. This week I’ve made a concerted effort to be laying in bed by 9pm. This allows me an hour to read The Hunger Games and still get 7.5 hours sleep. In addition, I’ve cut out alcohol this week which seems to be helping me sleep more soundly.

Selective workouts are important to ensure that my muscles are able to truly recover and repair. I often push my body more than it deserves. Over the years I’ve realized that my body really needs one absolute rest day each week. However, until Sunday, my body had been going non-stop in yoga, spin, weight workouts, and running for 16 days straight. Oops! Therefore, in addition to last Sunday, I’m giving it another complete rest day one day this week. In addition, pushing my body during workouts that aren’t going to help me reach my end goal, has a tendancy to set me back in the more important, running workouts. Last week during two evening blog events, I pushed my body in the Refine Method class and The Daily Burn workout.
Even though I said I’d take it down a notch and follow in the back, that isn’t my nature. Therefore, by Thursday, my entire body was screaming. This week I’m giving my body some time by doing two focused runs (4.5 mile tempo and 4 mile at goal pace), 2 at home yoga workouts, and one personal training session which was primarily agility work.
Yoga is important during recovery because it can help lengthen the muscles, release tension, and relax the body. This week I’ve discovered a few new free YouTube yoga workouts which have helped me squeeze some relaxing yoga practice into my day, both morning and night. None of these are strenuous but instead slow, flowing, and focused on the key areas for runners: hips, hamstrings, and calves. Here are a few of the short videos I’ve done this week:

It’s also important to realize that regardless of how successful your race is, you’re still pushing your body. Even though Saturday’s race wasn’t the PR I’d hoped for, my legs and body felt the affects due to the hills, distance, and stress. It’s amazing how much better I feel after four days of focusing on these few things.  Oh and don’t worry, for those of you who have been asking, I will address Saturday’s “bonk” in tomorrow’s Friday Face Time.

Share Button