The Ultimate Guide to Distance Running and Your Recovery
Running and Your Recovery
Whether you’re a newcomer to running or you’re training for your tenth marathon, the focus of your training should always be on your recovery. Many athletes make the mistake of focusing on performance, but that’s the wrong goal. Performance is a result of how well you recover between training sessions.
Your body needs to recover fully between training sessions, or you start to over-train. Over-training is like over-revving your car – doing it a few times won't hurt. However, pushing performance to this limit without regular maintenance results in a blown car engine.
It’s the same with your body. Continually pushing boundaries in your training, whether it’s for speed work or distance training, results in the over-training effect. Eventually, your body puts up resistance, and you end up noticing a drop in performance. Even worse, you could end up forcing an injury, like a pulled ligament or muscle group.
So, how can you improve your recovery? Here are some simple ideas you can put into action right away.
What does your diet look like? Your energy needs for your training sessions determine the amount of food you need to eat. If you don't already have experience calculating your daily calories and macros, work with a professional nutritionist.
A professional will set you up with a specialized diet to cover all your nutritional needs for training and recovery. Using a professional keeps the stress of second-guessing your meal planning and food choices.
Supplementing with the Right Minerals and Vitamins
Supplements are a key part of your training program. Start with foundational supplements like a vitamin and mineral complex, 1 gram of vitamin C, and 4,000-IU of vitamin D. Add some calcium and magnesium into the mix, along with some potassium to reduce cramping.
When training, you’ll benefit from consuming an amino acid beverage before exercise. The amino acids help you perform at your peak for longer. Pre and post-workout can also call for some fast-acting carbs for your training and recovery needs.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is critical to athletic performance. Dehydration can slow you down by as much as 60% in your training, and it predisposes you to injury. Remember, eight (8-ounce) glasses of water per day is the bare minimum you should be drinking. On training days, depending on the intensity of your workouts, you might have to double that intake.
Use sports drinks with fast carbs before and after your workouts. These carbs help to replenish your electrolyte and glycogen levels rapidly.
Massage and Rest
Your muscles will build up tension and lactic acid during your training sessions. Dealing with the muscle pain of a hard training session is brutal, especially if you push it too far. Ideally, you should hire an experienced masseuse.
Some pros recommend scheduling a deep tissue massage once a week to notice a significant improvement in your recovery and your training.
Wrapping Up – Ten Steps Forward, One Step Back
Sometimes we must take a break from our training and rest for a day or two. By resting, you recharge your body and end up even stronger.
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