It’s a simple formula.
The quicker you can recover from a hard training session, the harder you can train the next day, and hence perform better.
The principle works in all aspects of life. The student who rests well at night and gets his/her nutrition right will be able to study hard again the next day. The office worker who can switch off at night, sleep well and work on their posture while behind a desk will be fresher than their colleagues who are unable to get those simple things right.
When it comes to sports like swimming, cycling, running etc., the same truths apply.
So, what are the best recovery methods for athletes in training?
Things you need to do –
Sleep and adequate rest.
This must be your first priority. Sleep gives your body a chance to repair itself. Not enough sleep and you will experience a breakdown. A lot of research has gone into the process and importance of sleep – have a look at the following infographic regarding sleep and injury:
You can read more about the importance of sleep here.
It is reported that Roger Federer sleeps between 10 – 12 hours a night. Makes you think.
Stretching has many benefits, among which: It increases the range of motion. Stretch your hip flexors and you will be able to swing your legs back more successfully during the backward leg swing of your running gait.
It improves blood flow to the muscles thus allowing you to flush waste products and get fresh nutrients into them. There are numerous theories around about how much you need to stretch. For what it’s worth, this is what I do:
– I only stretch tight muscles.
– I stretch them for between 30 – 35 seconds.
– I tend to prefer static stretching.
– I make sure that they never hurt. I go for 5/10 in pain.
Get enough Protein.
Protein is made up of essential amino acids that are used to repair fibers in your muscles. I am not an expert at all on nutrition, I battle to cut sliced bread, and so it’s a good idea to read what dietitian Nicola Drabble has to say about protein
Drink lots of water.
You are made up of about 60% water. Proper hydration will help you flush waste products out and will help get nutrients into the cells. How much water should you drink? There have been various theories put forth. I like to keep it a bit more simple. There are two things to take note of:
– Are you thirsty? Yes – drink some water.
– What color is your urine? Is it clear – good. Not clear at all – drink more.
In fact, get a glass of water now before you continue to read the rest of this.
This is where we come in –
Get tight muscles massaged.
This can take on two forms, regular foam rolling, and professional massage.
Foam rolling is great in that you can do so on a regular basis. However, it is limited in that the foam roller won’t pick up tight lines and trigger points. Nothing beats an experienced pair of hands for that. The New York Times reported that people who received a message had lower levels of cytokines, a compound that causes inflammation, and higher levels of mitochondrial activity, which helps convert glucose into the energy that is important for cell repair. Both Anel, our Physiotherapist, and I can help with that.
Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy.
We have an increasing number of athletes who pop in on a weekly basis to enjoy the benefits of oxygen therapy. Benefits for athletes include:
- Accelerated recovery so that you can optimize your training and thus perform better.
- Accelerated tissue recovery of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
- Post-exercise recovery. We have a number of athletes using the chamber for quicker recovery after both hard training days and races.
Make use of our Rapid Recovery Compression Pants.
– accelerated lymph drainage.
– accelerated lactic acid drainage.
– cellulite reduction.
– reduction of inflammation in the legs.
Some of our athletes combine the hyperbaric chamber with a session in the compression pants.
Both your performance and enjoyment in your chosen field will be greatly enhanced if you recover properly. Listen to your body. Take rest days and go for recovery runs. The better you get at this aspect, the better your body will perform. Go to our Price page for more details.