Sadly, many jocks do not know that recovery-time, meaning that you specifically dispatch days for propping up your legs on the couch and resting, is just as important as the right training- as well as nutrition-plan. There are many rumors out there which say that a day off would wreck your hard-earned fitness but this is absolutely not true! There are just as many research papers out there that easily disprove this silly notion. So, take your easy days seriously so you will run your best when it really counts and just to do away with your fear of losing your fitness after having taken too much time off: The loss of personal fitness and performance does not happen until you take off more than two weeks! Mind that most injuries come from overuse rather than from a lack of training. Thus, a day of rest, easy miles or cross-training can very likely prevent three-or four-week forced breaks.
Why and How to recover?
Know that rest lets your body adapt to the work/training and improve. It memorizes the needed resources (e.g. hamstrings) and fosters their buildup. Hence, taking a rest day every seven to 14 days not only builds strengths but also reduces fatigue and restocks glycogen stores. So, next time you finish a tough race or training unit, definitely schedule some time for recovery.
Does my body lack recovery?
It is not only important to know that you need to recover but also how to determine if you rest enough because ignoring your body when it is signalizing that it needs rest can lead to serious injury. And trust me, your body has plenty of signals to show you that it craves for a break!
Here are the signs:
· Sudden weight loss
· Elevated resting heart rate
· Interrupted or lack of sleep
· Low Energy
· Depressed Mood
· Pain or soreness
· bad workouts
· Low oxygen levels
If you are experiencing a combination of these symptoms, it is about time to opt for an easy day or just take a day off.
How to recover after a tough Marathon?
Especially if you want to return to quality running soon after your last race, you need to properly recover.
This is how your week after a marathon-weekend should look like:
Week's Goal: Recover from the stresses of the marathon with activities that will encourage blood circulation to your sore muscles, and will help you shake off stiffness.
- 20Min. Cross Training
- REST (No Training)
- If you really cannot take two days without training, work out for 20 - 30Min. with a non-impact activity like swimming, pool running, cycling or so
- 20 - 30Min. Run/Walk (easy effort level / choose a relaxed pace) | no higher than 70% of your maximum heart rate!
Vitamin C- and protein-rich nutrition! Broccoli, leafy greens, oranges, red peppers. Fish, eggs or poultry.
- 30Min. Run or Cross Training (easy effort level / choose a relaxed pace) | no higher than 70% of your maximum heart rate!
- 30 - 40Min. Run or Cross Training
Remember! Running AND Resting are the alpha and omega of becoming a successful athlete!