Simon Ward gives us some tips that will help you with your training and recovery. Simple, but a good reminder that the simple things are key to staying healthy.
1. Get More Sleep
Most people don’t get enough sleep anyway. As an athlete you need sleep to promote a full recovery process. As you increase your training load (volume &/or intensity) you need to balance this with extra recovery time.
The expiration of waste products from breathing includes water vapour (notice that cloud you breathe out on a cold day!!) Add in sweating from heavy training and it’s easy to dehydrate.
Full recovery from training cannot take place unless you are well hydrated. This means you should be taking in fluid during training sessions and in between.
After training – you should always stretch the working muscles to realign them and help to promote recovery.
Between sessions – 2-3 times per week you should stretch for 15-30 minutes. Emphasise muscles such as hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, calves, adductors (inner thigh). Hold stretches for at least 30s. As tightness here can not only restrict efficient movement it can also lead to lower back pain!!
You should also consider investing in a foam roller.
4. Realistic Training Goals
There is an optimum volume of training that you can recover from each week. This will vary depending upon the other stresses you have in your life. More stress = less training and vice versa.
5. Optimum Nutrition
Think of your body as a high performance engine. It will only run efficiently on high performance fuel. You also need to fuel at the right times.
Take a good look at your eating habits and you’ll be surprised at how many simple changes you could make.