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Part 3: Recovery, after a Hard work in running

04/02/2009

I can attest that just like what real athletes feel of becoming tired mentally as well as physically. It is important to include a mental recovery program in your overall recovery strategy.  It is not uncommon runner(s) complaining that they lost their mojos.

sad

Most triathletes follow the F-E-E-L guideline, a system of measuring and managing mental fatigue and to help your plan a psychological recovery program.

FFeeling.  If you feel low, tired, sore, irritable and fatigued, buggered you tend to train and race poorly. Keepsmile in tune with your feelings – they can be a great indicator of how your body is responding to hard training.
EEmotions. Emotions can also be an indicator of how your body is adapting to training. Negative emotions, negative thoughts and negative feelings only lead to one thing………….more of them.
E – Energy. Tired, fatigued people will often feel low on energy. Monitor these energy feelings and use them to provide you with feedback on how your body and mind are dealing with training and racing loads.
LLearn to monitor then manage your emotional fatigue.

Many world class athletes find it useful to measure and monitor their physical and mental fatigue by using a well being chart.

6. Hydoteraphy – soak in ice bath, sauna, cold bath

Alternating hot and cold showers/baths provides an increase in blood flow to the working muscles and speeds the removal of lactic acid
Contrast bathing also stimulates the nervous system and helps to increase arousal, because the brain has to receive and recognise two different types ofinformation (hot and cold).

Begin and end with coldhyrdoteraphy
Repeat the alternations 3 to 4 times
Temperature, cold 10° to 16°C
Temperature, hot 35° to 37°C
Shower, cold 30 to 60 secs
Shower, hot 1 to 2 mins
Bath/spa, cold 30 to 60 secs
Bath/spa, hot 3 to 4 mins

Epsom salts. Epsom salts (which can be purchased at any grocery/drug store) help pull lactic acid from your muscles into your bloodstream. Add two cups to your bath (ice or otherwise), and give yourself a light massage while soaking for 10-15 minutes. This is worth a full day of recovery for me.

Cold baths
Cold baths have primarily been used for their pain-relieving properties.
But more recently the thinking is that when you plunge your body into a bath full of icy cold water, the blood vessels constrict and the blood will be drained away from the muscles that have been working (removing lactic acid).
Once you get out of the bath the capillaries dilate and ‘new’ blood flows back to the muscles, bringing with it oxygen that will help the functioning of the cells.

Recent research by Sam Erith at Loughborough University, UK, has shown that treatment with cold baths (cryotherapy) improves muscle function, reduces muscle damage and decreases soreness associated with DOMS.

Keep body parts moving to prevent a ‘barrier’ of warm water forming around the limbs.
Cold temperature 5° to 15°C
Duration 7 to 10 minutes to cool the muscles (shorter for short-term pain relief).

Saunas
Used by former USSR and East Germany for many years The scientific community have carried out numerous studious in the use of the sauna to aid in recovery after training and they have found many health benefits.
– Improved physiological, psychological and biochemical benefits that can improve performance.
– Increased work capacity due to the positive changes placed in the highest nerve centres and in the biochemical process of muscle contraction.
– Increased blood circulation in the peripheral tissues Relaxation of the muscles.
– Activation of the oxygen restorative processes and metabolic reactions (fuel replacement within the muscle)
– Removal of several end products of the exchange of various substances and toxins and, at the same time enhanced supply
of oxygen and glycogen to the muscles.
– To gain the maximum benefit from sauna bathing the following factors must be adhered to:
Temperature of the sauna, Humidity, Time in sauna, Temperature of hydrotherapy pool/shower, Time of recovery between sauna.

Saunas may be used for Neurological, psychological and some environmental

7. Compression sports wearSkins ™ – This is the latest boom business in terms of recovery, and leading sportswear manufacturers are producing garments with ‘compression qualities’.  Recent scientific research has indicated that external compression can be an effective treatment It minimises swelling, improves the alignment and mobility of scar tissue and improves proprioception (sense of body position in space) in an injured joint after eccentric damage and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) * Minimizing the Effects of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness–Microscopic muscle damage occurs from eccentric muscle forces (lengthening) that occur when you are breaking or running downhill. The resulting microscopic damage causes pain and inflammation, which reaches a peak at one to two days after your hard session and as you probably know too well, can last for several days. Another hard workout before your muscles have recovered is not likely to be very productive.

I tried myself after a long run and slept with them, i actually felt better after waking up compared to a long run of not wearing the skins to bed.

8.  Stretching warm up before and after your training is very important to “oil” your muscles, joints, cartilage and veins affected in your physical work out.

10. Check your resting heart rate every morning. I have used a heart rate monitor (HRM) for a few years now, and one the best heartuses I have found is checking your resting heart rate in the morning. I know my resting heart rate is about 38 beats per minute (I know it sounds low, but it’s mostly genetic…thanks mom and dad!). The day after Miwok, I woke up with a heart rate of 45. 10-15% variance is normal; anything more, and I am definitely not working out that day. For me, it’s typical for the HRM to keep me from working out for 1-3 days.

11. Supplements. I’ve tried a bunch of supplements and have found most to be marginal in their recovery assistance. But I have had success with taking enzymes to help the body break down proteins and the such. There’s this Hammer Nutrition’s Tissue Rejuvenator to be a good mix of enzymes that improves my recovery time by 10-15% which repairs bruises and tissue damages, wich can be available in a health store. That stuff is miraculous if you’re bruising, but fairly useless if not.  Iron (Ferrous Sulfate) is also very important as we loose blood cells whenever our feet is pounding the pavement or the earth.

12. Movement – After a heavy workout, like a marathon or a half marathon race, it is important to keep continuing to do physical activities which is of lesser intensity and volume, just to help your body from building lactic acid and DOMs.  I nticed this lately when I am doing at least 20KMs++ a day and do a recovery the day after is better than just having a rest of sitting down.  You don’t get the DOMS and lactic acid build up.  The day after this recover is the day I take my cross training which is much lighter or of using different sets of muscles.

– end –

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