Recovery

If I had a choice of knowing how some of the best athletes train or how they recover, I would choose recovery. We can all train ourselves into the ground, but if we cannot bounce back from it then it is a moot conversation. I am always tweaking my own recovery needs, but I will offer up my current course of action(s) here. SLEEP

I don't nap, but I sleep 8-9+ hours every single night and I would sacrifice training hours (or something else) if it meant that I had to cut back in this department. When I first started training in college I only designed training plans that included 8 hours of sleep. If I had a busy schedule with school I cut back on training hours and not on sleep. I only woke up early when I needed to beat the heat.

NUTRITION

It might be fun to train all day and eat cheese enchiladas all night, but eventually the body will break down if it doesn't get its fix of nutrients. There is a paradox in the average Joe's thinking pattern because most folks associate exercise as justification for treats/rewards. Ironically, the harder you force your body to work, the more you need to nourish it with quality nutrition.

I endorse The Paleo Diet for Athletes, written by Dr Cordain and Joe Friel (my coach), as a great starting point, but the underlying issue you need to take away is this:

The foundation of your diet should consist of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and high quality fats (i.e food that doesn't come in a box). As exercise hours increase you will need to supplement the diet with starches (I like oatmeal, rice, and potatoes) and sports nutrition (while training; not while sedentary). Eat REAL food as often as you can.

Apples are good, EZ cheese is bad.

Think along those lines.

ICE

Following all my key runs I will either 1) sit in the Boulder creek for 15 minutes or 2) sit in a bathtub of ice. Both are not entirely pleasant (especially the ice baths), but they are fantastic for speeding up the recovery in between sessions.

If you choose to take an ice bath I would suggest sitting in cold water (from the faucet) first, then add the ice into it. This will be slightly less shocking than sitting directly into a tub of freezing cold water/ice.

MASSAGE

I have had the same massage therapist here in Boulder for four years. Massage, in and of itself, is a great thing, but developing a solid relationship with your therapist is just as important. Massage is best served as a preventive measure to injury and having someone other than yourself in tune with your body is very beneficial. In addition to a weekly massage I use a foam roller to help keep my leg, back, IT Band, and shoulders from becoming overly tight.

SUPPLEMENTS

I use two products regularly from EAS; Glutamine and Muscle Armour. I typically ingest these products following any strenuous training (even more often with Glutamine; mornings and evenings). I also take EAS' "Athlete's Defense" mutltivitamin and 3-5 grams of Fish Oil (Natural anti-inflammatory) daily.

RECOVERY DAYS

I always place recovery days within my training cycle and the number one priority on these days is to promote recovery. Light exercise, sleeping more, stretching, massage, icing irritated areas, eating well, spending time with friends, listening to music... ....All of these components serve as a means to recovering physically and mentally. Folks that don't take the time to come down from their training will never surpass their previous fitness levels.

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Most of the above points address your physical need to recovery, but don't underestimate how important it is for you to mentally recover. Focusing intensely for hours every week is just as draining as the physical component. It is for this reason that I actually have one day per week where I hardly train or work. I completely regroup and allow myself a break from all my stresses.

Recover well,

JD

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