In this issue we cover different modalities to optimize your recovery of your long days in the saddle or those epic slog jogs. There is a time and place to use each recovery method. Some can be used any time and others are better implemented at certain times in your training in limited doses. Lets dive in.
Hydration- As the temperatures heat up it is important to take precautions before and after training to maintain proper performance and health. Second only to sleep this is the most important aspect of recovery. The body is approx. 65% water. Without the proper level of hydration the nutrients can not reach their destination. Without the proper ratio of fluids glycogen stores can not be replenished. The timing, quality, and make up are essential for proper and effective recovery. If you are unsure about your sweat rate contact us and we can get you dialed in or schedule a consult with our reps at Infinit Nutrition. Nutrition timing is paramount to ensuring optimal performance.
Nutrition/nutrition timing- provides the body with the energy needs to perform work. By properly timing the appropriate proportions of Carbohydrates, Fats, and Protein you can maximize protein synthesis and replenish depleted glycogen stores. Athletes often think about post nutrition recovery but often neglect pre workout preparation. You have to consider the time that it takes the body to re-synthesize the glycogen and protein you used during your workout. If you start with a tank that is nearly empty it will take that much longer to fully recovery. Think about if you are going on a road trip, you always want to start with a full tank of gas. In this way you can more effectively refill your tank for the next session instead of ending prematurely due to lack of proper fuel or energy requirements.
Sleep- probably the most under utilized method. The body can not recover without sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is the cycle of sleep where the brain refreshes itself and in the process repairs the body. The neuromuscular system, the ability to focus, and be motivated to push your body are all dependent on this cycle of sleep. As humans we have the ability to override our body’s built in safeguards and continue to push our limits, but that is another subject for another day. Too often athletes will sacrifice sleep for training. Doing so continuously will lead to injury. It would be better to take an extra hour or 2 and sleep and have a great shorter training session, than to put in a mediocre workout. The fitness gains will be better with the shorter session than the longer one you made yourself do while tired. If you were too tired to hit the prescribed intensities then you really gained little to no fitness and you just made yourself more tired and put yourself deeper into the training hole.
Massage- Soft tissue manipulation. This is another under utilized method of recovery. A good therapist can pinpoint trouble spots and perform manual mobilization therapy to “free up” the joint and flush toxins out of the muscles in the same fashion as compression boots, they can act as another pump to take some of the load off the heart. Any where you can reduce the workload the more resources the body can delegate to recovering. A good therapist can also perform myofascial release therapy. Myofascial release is releasing the micro adhesions that are formed on the Myofascia. These form as a way to repair the tears caused by exercise but in the process restrict mobility and causing imbalances around joints.
Foam rollers- Probably the most popular and talked about. Easy to use and accessible. Myofascial release can be achieved using a foam roller. In order optimize you must know how to properly use this tool
Stretch cords or Stretch bands- used to stretch and relieve built up tension in the muscles and around the joints.
R8 Roller- Works similar to a foam roller with self administering Pressure
Compression Boots/ garments- similar to massage and compression gear. Works by massaging the muscle with compression to “milk” the lymphatic system to rid the body of toxins and lactate that build and are stored in the interstitial spaces in the muscle cells. Compression socks or tights help in a similar way but can be worn all day or while sleeping.
CryoFit- Freezes the body at -278 degree to put the body in a state of shock. This forces the body to shunt blood from the peripheral body to the core in an attempt to keep your vital organs alive. In the process it carries all the toxins in this “dirty blood” and filters it more efficiently along with removing any inflammatory toxins. Upon “thawing” the clean oxygen rich blood floods the the body. The constricted vessels then super-compensate by dilating and making it easy and faster for fresh blood to get into the muscles, hence decreasing the recovery time.
Implementing any or all of these methods will help with your recovery but some tools are better used for specific reasons. If you are unsure which tool is best for you or how you should implement it into your program contact your favorite E2MULTISPORTS coach at Coach@e2multisports.com for guidance. You can also find many of these products at our sponsors website. Trisports.com