recovery

Five Golden Rules to Recover Fast after Workouts

A half marathon (13.1 miles) and a marathon (26.2 miles) runner’s workouts tend to be long and hard. For that reason, it is important to work on a quick recovery.

Recovery after training is vital to assimilate the effects of the training,  be ready for a next training and, especially, to avoid injuries.

For that reason, what you do after training is as important as (or more important than) the training itself, and that is why we will now tell you five golden rules to recover quickly after running:

1.- Consume proteins

Unfortunately, many believe that the only important thing about a runner’s nutrition is carbohydrates, but proteins are the ideal ally to repair and rebuild muscular damage.

For that reason, after hard workouts, runners should have proteins: milk, yogurt, eggs and protein shakes are some of the available options.

2.- Sleep more

Sleeping few hours has significant negative effects on recovery and performance.

The lack of sleep increases our feeling of tiredness, which can affect your desire to do physical activity and your perception of exhaustion during trainings and races.

Negative effects arise when you sleep less than 6 hours and minimize when you sleep more than 8 hours. That is why you should sleep the maximum amount possible after hard trainings. Naps are also a valid option!

3.- Massages

A nice massage session after a hard workout can help you: increase your blood flow; discharge, prepare and recover your muscles, stimulate tired muscles, etc.

Even though professional massages are a highly effective alternative, many runners choose to massage themselves, a technique that we recommend to be done periodically.

Self-massages are useful to get to know your body, investigate and analyze your muscles’ state.

4.-Hydration

During hard workouts, you lose a great amount of your body liquid and, for that reason, it is essential for you to hydrate correctly after running.

The goal is not to surpass or drink non-stop. Pay attention to your body. The feeling of thirst is your body’s tool to tell you that you need additional hydration.

5.-Do not drink alcohol

Drinking alcohol (even moderately) can also affect the ability of your body to recover after the physical effort (Barnes et al).

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) assures that drinking alcohol affects negatively the psychomotor abilities and performance and recommends the athletes to avoid having alcohol during at least 48 hours before a competition.

Moreover, its specialists state that the chronic abuse of alcohol is related to significant deficiencies in the cardiac and the skeletal muscles. It also slows down recovery after exercising due to the inhibition of protein synthesis.

flickr photo by ibizamediamaraton http://flickr.com/photos/132892195@N03/17335214701 shared under a Creative Commons (PD) license