Running Camp Notes: Recovery Tips
On a few occasions, we’ve talked about the fact that consistency is more important than any other factor. Runners who practice more often with fewer injuries are going to perform better than their peers, even if those peers run harder on the days when they train. How do we build consistency? By fully recovering in between sessions. Consistency is equal parts stress and recovery.
One major aspect of recovery is modulation. This means taking easy days EASY. For this reason, we recommend the following approaches for easy/recovery days:
Run with friends and keep the effort light enough to have a conversation
Run without a watch or use a mode that doesn’t display pace if you wear a GPS device
Opt for something other than running (walking, biking, rest) if you have trouble backing off for easy runs
Getting proper sleep is critical to recovery and future performance. High school runners should aim for 8-9 hours of sleep per night. In order to improve sleep, it’s important to build a nighttime routine that involves turning screens off an hour before bed and going to sleep at a consistent time. Those who are having trouble sleeping might want to investigate magnesium levels under the supervision of a doctor.
Quality nutrition is important for general performance, and plays a key role in recovery. In particular, ensuring that quality calories are eaten within 30 minutes of runs will be very helpful in beginning the adaptation cycle. For more information, see the previous post on general nutrition tips.
Research has pointed toward some other things that are assistive for recovery. Integrate these whenever you can!
Post-workout Social Time: Spending time with friends/teammates after hard workouts leads to shorter recovery times and better adaptation.
Time in Nature: Spending time enjoying nature improves mood, recovery, and general well-being.
Active Recovery: Low- or no-impact movement (walking, swimming, etc) can lead to reductions in soreness and inflammation.
If you keep the focus equally on hard work and recovery, you’ll run well and continue to improve season after season.