Through the course of this blog, I have talked regularly about the importance of training. But I haven't really spoken about recovery, which is something I should really have got onto much earlier.
However, there is no time like the present so, I thought I would create a blog based on recovery. And provide you with three easy, cheap and effective self recovery techniques to relax tired muscles, increase mobility and make you a better athlete.
Let's get into it:
What is recovery?
Recovery is time out from intense training, racing and exercise. It can be done as complete rest or with "active recovery" days where you do something small time like go for a walk, do some yoga or have a steady swim. Recovery is essentially time to refuel and recover the body so that the next time we have to put in an intense effort, we can.
There are many ways we can allow our body to recover, and in the next section I am going to show you three amazing ways you can do this yourself.
1: TRACKING TIME:
While tracking time isn't technically a recovery technique. It is an incredibly important aspect of managing your days, weeks and months.
Tracking your time allows you to develop a sense of purpose with regards to your day and allows you to analyse what time you spend wasting, and being productive.
Get a diary and track your time, even better. Buy a journal as well and use this every day to write down how your energy levels are, what positive things happened to you and how you feel each day.
This will allow you to notice trends and patterns. Giving you an insight into your life, when you get tired, and when you have the most energy.
Track the time you sleep.
Track the time you spend training/running/riding.
Track the time you spend recovering or doing less intense work.
This will give you a greater understanding about yourself, and how you can spend it more Wiseley.
2: FOAM ROLLING:
Foam rolling is a cost effective, easy, and portable solution to tight muscles. While it isn't as beneficial as sports massage it is great maintenance and should be scheduled into everyone's day (mine included).
Foam rolling can relieve tightness, inflammation, and fatigue. It can also help increas mobility and essentially improve your muscular performance.
Foam rolling is essentially rolling any sore areas of muscle over a cylindrical peice of equipment. Focusing on any areas that are more sore than others.
With the idea being it helps roll out knots in the muscle area.
My tip with foam rolling is to invest in one with a flat surface. Some of the big knobbly ones exist purely as a gimmick and in my opinion more pain isn't always better.
Once you have done this schedule it into your day, and spend 10-20 minutes every other day foam rolling. It is especiually important after long rides, and big gym sessions and I would 100% recommend investing into one.
Go slow, focus on areas that are increasingly sore and don't be afraid to call it a day when it gets too painful to start. Gradually upping the amount of time you spend doing this.
Stretching is arguably the most effective form of maintaining your mobility and assisting with recovery. It has been around for years and there are so many forms. Such as:
- Dynamic: Movement based stretching, like you see athletes doing pre match.
- Static: The most common form, thing pre/post gym class.
Stretching before and after exercising has been around for years and there is countless research as to whether it actually works or not.
I am a firm believer in that regular stretching can help with recovery as it has the following benefits:
- Increased blood flow = More nutrients to to the muscles.
- Increased mobility = Better performance from the muscles, less tight feeling.
The above are just two benefits of stretching but, they are both massive positives to add to your training.
Many people use time as an excuse as to why they don't stretch but, the reality is that it is just too easy to forget to do. Or, people don't really know how to stretch so they don't get much benefit from it.
In order to help out with your stretching. Check out this video preview of a quick stretching session:
Recovery, completed it!
Three ways to keep track of your recovery and make sure that you are doing everything possible to become fitter, faster and stronger with your training, riding, running and competing.
I hope you enjoyed the blog. And found it useful.
If you have any questions or want to have a chat. Simply email me at accopleypt.com
Have a great day.