Friday, November 11, 2011

Recovery for Endurance Athletes

My first week of IM training is going well so far but I am sore going into a long weekend of training. I don't think my normal training has increased that much (although I am much more dedicated to my schedule now) but the 4 additional strength workouts are kickin my butt! I was told to hold off of strength exercises for my lower body other than my prescribed PT exercises until last week so of course I did no strength training at all, wining!

The increase in use of my muscles means a need to increase focus on recovery so I can show up to my next workout ready to go. Here are a few of the ways that I think help me recover:


I use a trigger point roller with a PVC core, we originally had a foam roller but it broke down quickly and it seemed so wasteful. The trigger points are more expensive but it has held up for a long time so I think it's worth it. No Meat Athlete has a great post about how to roll if you aren't sure what to do. I think rolling is one of the most important tools to recovery.

I also use "The Stick" this is great for traveling and for getting smaller muscles that are hard to pinpoint with the roller.

Ice Baths:

These f-ers HURT but are well worth it. I find them much easier in the summer when I am hot and cooling off sounds good. In the winter when I am already cold this is an struggle to make myself do.

Some tips to make it more bearable is to fill the tub with cool water and acclimate to that before putting the ice in. I wear two sweatshirts and booty shorts to keep my parts warm. Lastly I drink tea (see next point) or hot chocolate to help keep more core warm. All of this helps but honestly this still sucks. If possible you can use a stream to cool off your legs after a trail run.

This is much preferred even if there is toxic sludge in the creek.

This can help free your muscles of free radicals and speed the healing process.

I prefer to get mine from emergen-c and tea (I actually prefer green tea). Another supplement that I think helps is Fish Oil for its omega-3

Protein and Vegetables:

In the mornings a green monster is a great option.

Or Salmon Cakes

My last method is to wear compression garments. I own two pairs of compression socks and capris made for running. I would love to own a set of tights dedicated for recovery as well.

What are you favorite ways to recover?


  1. My stick and foam rollers are great friends of mine! And compression socks = awesome. I'm yet to try out full tights but I'm eyeing them up.

    Its been a while since I've had an ice bath but wearing socks has helped in the past. My feet always HURT during ice baths but having socks on helps a bit.

  2. I am a BIG foam roller fan. And The Stick.

    I WANT full tights.

    I do ice baths, but man...sometimes it is really hard to talk myself into!!

  3. The stick. The roller, but mainly I used it tuck under my hips as I put my feet in the air. Something to read while your feet are in the air. Regular massage therapy. A good therapist is worth their weight in gold. Never did an actual ice bath, though I was into a cold lake after a couple of times. Get all the sleep you can. Sleep is better than workouts sometimes, and you'll know when.

  4. I LOVE my foam roller! Ice baths DEFINITELY!

  5. Ok, I've been meaning to start drinking a green shake every day and can't seem to take the first step. Perhaps you've motivated me. I am a big believer in CW-x compression tights, full length. And have a pair just for the recovery. I'm a cheap gal and these were worth the cost. I'd like to get a pair of compression socks next.

  6. i definitely don't like ice baths or epsom salt baths but dang it, they work. Have you ever tried the recovery boots? Oh my those are a Godsend!