Running Performance: The Importance of Recovery
Recovery from training is now viewed as being as important to running performance as training itself. Recovery is recognised as the time period between the end of one bout of training and the subsequent return to resting or recovered state…BUT….factors including: nutrition, hydration and sleep could determine how efficiently the body “resets” following exercise, therefore these factors would be implicated in how long the recovery period would need to be.
So, in this episode we delve into WHY optimal recovery is important and outline some nutritional and lifestyle strategies to put in place that may help YOU achieve efficient recovery from training.
Defining RECOVERY from training as ……the time period between the end of a bout of exercise and the subsequent return to a resting or recovered state.
Outlining the reasons WHY adequate recovery from training is recommended including:
- Positive training adaptations
- Prevention of non-functional overreaching and overtraining syndrome
- Prevention of illness and injury
- Increased exercise performance
Also: introducing the seven Rs to Recovery: Rest Regeneration Resynthesis, Reduction (of inflammation), Restoration, Refuelling and Rehydration.
Highlighting the TWO recognised approaches to recovery:
- Passive Recovery – complete rest
- Active Recovery – LOW INTENSITY physical activity
- Women appear to experience slower recovery rates in the latter phase of their monthly cycle when compared with training recovery during the first half of their monthly cycle.
- A New Zealand study compared recovery from training in women experiencing a natural cycle with women taking the Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP). They determined that women who took combination contraception experienced the most pronounced reduction in recovery from training load, followed by women taking progestin only medications. Women who had a natural cycle were shown to have the most efficient recovery from training.
- It has been found that women may recover from training faster than their male counterparts… and experience less fatigue
Delving into some nutritional strategies to support optimal recovery from training including:
- Carbohydrates: consuming 8-10g/Kg Body Weight per day AFTER exercise to support repletion of glycogen
- Hydration: Replacing fluids by 150%
- Protein: consuming 0.3g/Kg Body Weight every 3-5 hours AFTER exercise to support muscle protein synthesis
- Probiotic supplementation: DAILY to help reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress
Introducing some lifestyle strategies to support optimal recovery from training including:
- Adequate REST and SLEEP
- Non-strenuous exercise e.g. yoga, Pilates, swimming
- Massage – relaxing and/or sports massage
- Stretching and foam rolling
1) Recovery is: “….the time period between the end of a bout of exercise and the subsequent return to a resting or recovered state. The time it takes to recover will vary between individuals
2) Positive training adaptations is one of the most important effects obtained through optimal recovery, ultimately leading to enhanced running performance
3) Many symptoms experienced post-exercise (for example: DOMS and fatigue) are a natural part of the recovery process and are, as a result, important contributors to training adaptation, therefore sufficient recovery is required for these reactions to occur and then “reset”
4) There are two recognised approaches to recovery: Active recovery and Passive recovery, both of which would be important to include in a training programme
5) There are many nutritional strategies that have been shown to support optimal recovery from training including:
- Adequate protein intake
- Adequate carbohydrate intake
- Probiotic supplementation
- Remember timing of protein and carbohydrate intake is also important for recovery
6) There are several lifestyle/training approaches that could help enhance recovery including:
- Good sleep hygiene
- Regular massage/sports massage
- Regular cool down routines and stretching/foam rolling
- And of course…REST – passive and active
Meglio – for equipment to support recovery.
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The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
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