Recovering From Your EventBy Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, LD/N
Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC
Many athletes rush back into training too quickly and experience injuries, sickness or burnout a few weeks to months down the road. Recovery depends on many factors and not always can you "feel" yourself being 100% recovered. Here are a few tips to kick start the recovery process.
- Relax - Take your time post-race and move around, celebrate, cool off, rehydrate and refuel.
- Exercise – You can't train a damaged body or one that is low in fuel. Exercising is fine but give yourself at least 3-7 days before you do anything structured. Stick to non-weight bearing, gadget free activities.
- Recovery tools - Compression, ice, epson salt, elevation are great to boost recovery.
- Sleep - Even if you experience post-race insomnia, try get a little extra sleep with an earlier bedtime for a few nights or with short naps when possible.
- Refuel - Replenish glycogen, hydrate and help with tissue/muscle damage by focusing on a mix of low residue carbs w/ a little quality protein and water with electrolytes (ex. fruits). Eat/hydrate every few hours for the next two days, as tolerated and monitor the color of your urine for hydration purposes.
- Natural anti-inflammatories- Pass on the bottled anti-inflammatories and choose ginger, pineapple, celery, fish and cherries to help with inflammation.
- Protect your immune system - You are highly susceptible to illness and infections post-race. Be sure to keep your immune system healthy by keeping chaffing areas clean and being aware of any blisters or lost toenails.
- Goal setting - Set a goal so you are motivated to train again but wait at least 4-6 weeks before racing again. The body and the mind need recovery and with new goals, a bit more training. You have plenty of time to race again, be patient and respectful to the body.
- When in doubt - give yourself 2 more days after you feel 100% recovered before you return to structured training. It's always better to take it easy for a few extra days and give yourself a little more time to soak-up your recent accomplishment and to thank your body.
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