Categories
Training

Rest and Recovery

Rest is training, too. Everyone needs rest and recovery, both physically and mentally. For me and my training, I take recovery pretty seriously. Physiologically speaking, growth only happens through rest and repair. Most of the time it’s like a set of stairs, in that you don’t always let yourself fully recover before working out again until it’s time to taper.

I have at least one day a week that is completely workout-free and usually work-free. I don’t use run streaks as part of my training because I’m not physiologically on board with them, though I understand there’s a mental factor in the reasoning behind it.

There are a few basic recovery principles I use besides rest. After all, rest is only a small part of recovery.

  1. After a long and/or hard effort, I’ll usually do a recovery run the next day. It helps keep the blood flowing through those tired, achy muscles desperate for nutrients.
  2. Speaking of nutrients, fueling is crucial. Know what you’re going to have after your workout before you start. There’s two different windows I try to hit. The first is within 20 minutes post workout – the sooner the better. I opt for a carb/fluid/electrolyte focus (VegaSport Recovery Accelerator). The second window is between 60-90 minutes after my workout, with a protein shake (VegaSport Protein).
  3. I’m not a fan of ice – unless you have an acute injury. I like to soak in a hot bath with Epsom salt after a hard or long effort. See http://www.struckbystride.com/the-fire-in-the-flame/
  4. If I have a muscle or tendon that’s starting to nag or I’m just really sore, I’ll apply a comfrey ointment or other herbal lotions.
  5. I try to set aside time set aside for foam rolling and use of other self-care tools for at least 20 minutes every night (with the exception of my rest day). I use foam rollers, tennis balls, a thumper, cupping therapy, a lacrosse ball, Roll Recovery R8, and various others that I’ve accumulated over the years.
  6. I do get at least two professional massages per month, partly due to my job, but I think it’s important for athletes, too. You can do a lot yourself, but nothing beats someone else doing it for you.

Getting a good sleep regularly has been a struggle for me since…well, since I graduated high-school and started to adult. Part of it is my personality. I tend to stress and be more anxious than I have to be. But sleep is the body’s time to repair, and it’s crucial to a high-intensity active lifestyle.

Recovery is a lot of work – that’s why I consider it 50% of training. There’s a lot of different and conflicting methods of recovery out there, but everyone has something. Find what works for you and make recovering just as important as the rest of your training.

Categories
Equipping

Jadience

This stuff is amazing. I’ve tried many different lotions and potions for sports enthusiasts and this product line is by far the best. The Jadience brand has a variety of different product lines that fit specific needs, but they all have at least a little jadestone in them. The company focuses on using ancient Chinese medicine to bring about the healthiest “you.”

Stop it. It’s not voo-doo magic or hippie devil stuff. It’s called herb-ology, and Jadience offers a Muscle & Joint line that has a specific combination of herbs to help with circulation, tightness/soreness, and healing to damaged muscles. There is science behind it. Think of it in the same way you combine certain nutrients in foods to get optimal utilization – peanut butter and carrots – the fat in the peanut butter helps the vitamin A get absorbed into your system. It’s the same way with combining different herbs to work together.

There is a long list of herbs in the Muscle & Joint formula so I won’t list them all, but Clematidis, Achyranthis, and Puerariae are a couple that help relax and relieve muscle pain. There is a light “herbal” smell to their products, but I’ve found that most people like it. I use their Muscle & Joint cream the most because it soaks in better and has a moisturizing effect. The gel is nice for targeted areas and the soak is perfect for post long runs and after races. They also have an energizing foot spray that I use pre-race.

*your own cat with an attitude problem can be found at your local pet store

Originally, I found this brand through my job. We use it in a few of our services. I’ve since learned that they are local to San Diego, but do have retailers that sell their products across the U.S. You can find them on their website (www.jadience.com) or they give you a list of online retailers that sell their product. It’s pricier than bio-freeze, but it’s really not even in the same class. Buy a small bottle and see for yourself.