There’s a lot out there about Recovery. What is recovery? It’s basically “gettin’ over it” as I like to say. No, not necessarily with a bubble bath and sipping champagne (well maybe an Epsom salt bath but that’s another story..), but making sure you do everything you can to make sure your body repairs itself from the beatdown you just gave it, and that you’re rested and ready for the next beatdown, err workout, tomorrow.
In all seriousness, recovery is, well…serious.
Recovery is what you do to help your body repair itself following a workout. Poor recovery leads to inadequate repair and poor performance, and eventually injury or overtraining.
A lot of the information out there talks about what you need to be doing after your workout. And to be fair, most of it is right on. You need to hydrate, you need to eat, and you need to rest adequately.
But what a lot of sources don’t mention is that recovery begins before your workout is over. The things you do during a long workout set you up for either an easy or brutal recovery session. The things you do during your workout (hydrate and fuel) will of course have an effect on your immediate performance, but they also affect how your recovery goes, and thus your next workout.
If you finish a long workout not having consumed enough calories, you’ve got to climb out of that caloric hole, plus replace the calories you normally would during the recovery session. Likewise with hydration. If you skimp on fluids at the tail end of a workout, you’re definitely going to be dehydrated going into your recovery session.
Doing things like this negatively impacts your body’s ability to recover. Instead of having adequate calories and fluids on board to assist with recovery, you’re still topping of the tank, putting you behind in the game.
If you don’t believe me, give it a try. Next time you go for a long training session, work to stay on top of your hydration and calories, and ensure you do the same during recovery. My bet is that you’ll feel a lot better sooner, and your next performance will be top notch.
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Often times I am asked, “just how long can I rest while I recover from my injury/illness, before I start to lose my fitness level”? All of us are hesitant to give up the gains we have made from all of that training. Although this is not a straight forward question, there is plenty of enlightening research on this subject.
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