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Part 1: Recovery, after a Hard work in running


I learned the hard way.  Last year I was running like mad, almost everyday 6 days a week having 1 day rest although the mileage is low, I was not allowing my body to rest and so I got injured.

Its not big one, but something that would have almost caused me to give running a rest for at least 3 months if that would have pushed to stress fracture.  My muscles were pounding too much on the leg bones because it was too sore and tight.  Only when I went for a visit to the Physio that I learned how the body works after a day’s work out from physical activities.  Also little did I know that massages are just not for vanity’s sake.

Now that I am trying to put my mileage up in regards to the latter posting of my “dream” to at least run one marathon, and the challenges of able to go through the phases of the training, my body is adjusting slowly and I can feel the soreness as I never had run a race longer than a half marathon.

So I have started joining the speed sessions (lucky to have a Woodstock running club and its free!) and I do longer runs and I can tell that my body is not used to what I am doing to it.  It is indeed hard work.  So I did some research what helps the body recover after doing sports/training not just on running.

I was told by Stephen in one of our early morning runs that female and male runners have different recovery period since males have higher testosterone level which enables them to do more runs during the week while females need to do more recovery that’s why cross training is suggested.  In this cross training, it also helps the body endurance in different muscle groups of the body and strengthens muscles we do not use for running.

Human genetics determine your predisposition to this adaptation; some of us are programmed to adapt more quickly than others. Lifestyle factors such as diet, quantity and quality of sleep, general health, age, gender, and various lifestyle conditions, all influence how quickly you recover from and adapt to training. This is why every training program must be individualized.

What prompted me to research more on recovery because on my earlier days of running and based on mythical sayings, I was always told not to take bath after a heavy strenuous activity or I’ll get muscle spasms after.  Which is very opposite to what I’ve been reading and watching in telly where athletes take cold baths, ice baths, and dip in the cold water in the beach.

First, i know a lot of us is like me who was stubborn and do not believe about recovery and cross training, I might not be a sports doctor, or a coach but having had experienced pain and soreness and the possibility of having to stop an activity i like I recommend you read on with this piece or don’t tell me later on,you should have just read what I’ve written.

You need recovery if …

  • you run/train more than three times each week, twice or more each day, or five or more days each week?
  • you often feel rundown, fatigued, buggered even if you have had a day off training?
  • you compete more than five times a season?
  • you had recurring illness or injury?
  • you doing weight or resistance training?
  • you aiming for a triathlon event that will challenge you to new levels?
  • you have a full time job or other commitments which take up most of your time

… and you answered at least three yes in the questions, then you need to include recover in your training program.

Still you do not believe you need one? Read this maybe I can persuade you why you need to recover
… you can increase the quality and quantity of your training.
… you can reduce and minimize the risk of injury and illness
… you can manage increases and changes in training and minimize the risks of overtraining.
… you can manage your life better and reduce the feelings of fatigue from training that carry on into your work, family and personal life.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 06/02/2009 2:48 am

    Hi Chaia. Early in my career, I had to learn the hard way as well. I felt I could never take a day off because I felt I would lose the training base needed. Fortunately there were no injuries but there were several race distances that I may never had met the potential.

    Now, it’s more quality than quantity. A day or two off a week, one track or fartlek workout and a long run every other week. It’s been helping over the past six months.

    Take care and have a good weekend.

    Thank you Wayne for sharing the testimony of your experience. Runners can sometimes be stubborn. you too have a wonderful weekend!

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