With the temps falling into pleasant temperatures to run in, this is prime racing time. If you’ve been training hard these last few weeks to get ready for that key race don’t forget to recover from those workouts. To improve at anything, you know you have to push yourself. After finishing a challenging workout you feel pretty accomplished and good (thanks to endorphins). You may even want to treat yourself to a reward, like a movie, late or some other special treat which is fine. But unless you’re treating yourself to a massage, your muscles could probably care less about that “cheat” food or flick.
Whether it’s a long run, speed work, or lifting weights you need to take the appropriate steps to recover. Your muscles will thank you and you’ll notice that you can get back to pushing yourself harder sooner by incorporating these simple things into a recovery routine.
Loaded with anthocyanins, which help guard cells against cell mutation and have lots of souped up anti-inflammatory properties that help decrease swelling in tired muscles.
Watermelon is full of one particular amino acid, L-citrulline which does a good job of reducing muscle soreness. Amino acids are building blocks of protein, and protein is the building block of lean muscle.
Protein and Carbs
Exercising breaks down muscle proteins, so by ingesting protein post workout you can begin protein synthesis aka rebuilding muscle. Consuming about 20 grams of protein post workout is optimal for muscle repair. But don’t forget about replacing carbohydrates too! This is especially true if you’ve been running because you’ve depleted glycogen stores. And if it happens to be your resistance training day, research shows that taking in a combination of carbs and protein post workout stimulates greater increases in strength. A 3:1 ratio (carbohydrates:protein) is what's recommended. The best time to take in your post workout protein is as soon as possible, but there is a window of up to three hours if your schedule won’t allow it right away.
A few protein sources
3 eggs, 6 egg whites, or ¾ cup egg substitute
¾ cup cottage cheese
3 cups yogurt
1 ½ to 1 ⅔ cup of dried beans or lentils (also a carb source)
Studies have shown that foam rolling is effective in reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Invest in one of these handy recovery tools and your muscles will thank you.
Obvious, but often forgotten: Sleep & Hydration!
Did you know your body releases human growth hormone during sleep which stimulates healing and growth of muscle, tendon, and bone?
And when you're dehydrated exercise feels more difficult. This makes sense especially since the body is made up of around 60% water!
Run, recover and share!
Train hard and be sure to have a recovery routine that restores you for the next workout. Share these tips with all of your running friends so they know all about recovery too!
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