Solidify Your Run with Recovery

This is a term that I have been using to remind myself that each run needs to be solidified by a recovery element. This is my new mantra that I hope is going to help me balance the need for recovery after hard workouts or long miles.

You can solidify your run or workout by massage, naps, hydration, eating right, ice baths, etc. Why is there a need to solidify your workouts?

One of the problems with training hard or training at all is that our bodies don’t get faster or better when we run fast or long. We actually get weaker and more broken down by the training that we do. I can prove this by asking you to run a race as fast as you can and then asking you to repeat the same effort 2 hours later. You will not be able to do it because your body is not recovered yet. We get faster when we are sitting on the couch.

So how can we return to a recovered state faster after a hard workout?

  1.     Place equal value on recovery and hard work.
  2.     Be honest with yourself…are you actually recovered? Did you do the right thing to solidify your run.
  3.     Force yourself to take a 1-day off at least every 14 days. Most people will need 1-day off every 3-7 days.
  4.     Remember that good performances come not from any individual session but from consistency.
  5.    A good mood is good sign of recovery…
  6.    Solidifying your run can make your quality of life better…

How can you solidify your run?

  1. I have recently been solidifying my runs by 30mins naps.  In addition to the fact that the body does most of its healing during sleep I have been feeling a great deal less stressed by adding my 30min naps 3Xper week.  It just feels good to lay down and get some rest. Watch the Importance of Sleep video if you need more convincing.
  2. Drink some chocolate milk within 20mins to 1hr after your hard workouts.  Check the refueling with chocolate milk video.
  3. Do some dynamic drills before you do a workout or race.
  4. Stretch after your run is over.
  5. Take an ice bath for 12minutes in 52-55 degree water.
  6. Get a massage.
  7. Take a leisurely walk to unwind.
  8. Do some Yoga.

If you are a highly motivated athlete you may have a hard time solidifying your run because you thrive on the instant gratification of hard workouts. My suggestion is to change the way you think about getting faster. Instead of focusing on times and splits and ignoring the recovery process, try to balance your running with at least one activity that will solidify your run every day. By focusing on both hard work and the recovery process you can solidify every run and make sure that they count.

P.S. One of my favorite quotes is from Deena Kastor.  She says “…there is no such thing as OVER TRAINING, only UNDER RESTING.”


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