When you’re training for a specific goal or race, running regularly, or even during off-season training, focusing on recovery is as important as all the kilometers you’re running. Proper recovery during training or even when you’re off-season and not training intensely will help avoid the dreaded injuries and keep you feeling strong.
1. Avoid every day hard runs
Don’t think you need to push and go hard on every run. That is not the way to build up your endurance and strength, it’s the opposite, it will make it harder to recover from pushing through all the kms. It is important for the best training to mix it up, include harder runs, easy runs, rest days to make sure you train your body with a mix of intensities, and include adequate recovery to adapt to the harder or long-distance sessions.
2. Sleep well
Sleep is the key recovery tool. It is important to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, but the quality of sleep is just as important. During the sleep pattern, our body goes through several cycles, and when you are in deep sleep, the crucial growth hormones are released. Avoid screen time 2 hours before bed time, avoid eating or drinking caffeine or alcohol too late at night. The best way is to make sure you follow a consistent pattern or going to bed and waking up at the same time most days, in a cool and dark environment.
3. Include a “recovery” training week every 4 weeks in your training plan
Progressive training is very important and beneficial to get more fit, stronger and faster. As your training gets harder and more intense physically and mentally, aim to include a slower training week by reducing the overall training volume every 4 weeks to make sure your body gets the extra rest it will need to adapt and progress.
4. Find the right gear
There are plenty of gears on the market that can be very helpful with proper recovery. Finding the right shoes to support your running form, using compression garments to improve the blood flow and speed recovery after hard training. Using a foam roller for great stretching and deep tissue release. Using magnesium oil to massage your sore muscles, will help with muscle recovery. Focus on the gear your body is asking for, which will help with your personalized recovery needs.
5. Get all the nutrients you need for fueling and recovery
Your daily nutrition is a critical factor for your recovery after runs. As your training progresses or even during recovery weeks, focus on including and adjusting all the nutrients for proper fueling and recovery. To eat the right foods and nutrients before and especially after training will speed up recovery and protect your overall health. Post-run aim for 3:1 or 4:1 carbs/protein, according to your training session, more intense or longer distance sessions your body will need more carbs for recovery.
6. Include your recovery sessions into your training schedule
Try and get a good routine of stretching daily, core strengthening exercises 2-3 times per week. Balance your meals and snacks according to your training as well.
7. Adjust your training plan according to your life schedule
Sometimes life gets in the way and you have to readjust your training plan according to what might affect your well-being. Stress has a big impact on our overall health and well-being, when you go through more stressful time, you might need to reduce the intensity of your running and training. An extra rest day or lighter week will improve the ability to recover and rest.
8. Take a break mentally and physically
The ability to relax mentally and physically should play a big part in all your recovery plans. Make sure you take some time to relax with family and friends, or even practice some regular meditation, which has been shown to significantly improve recovery.
Train Well, Rest Well, Feel Great!