It was a big weekend because I did my 20 miler on Saturday. Yesterday was a rest day. Rest days are important to give your body a recharge. It may sound funny coming from me because most people don’t think I take a rest, but I know when my body needs a rest. Always remember to listen to your body.
Recovery has been a big deal to me lately and I’ve taken the time to really educate myself on it. I was doing it wrong for so long. It’s hard to think about putting the calories back in your body after you’ve done a workout. I know when I was losing weight I did nothing about recovery. My mindset was all wrong. When I was at Fitbloggin I had the chance to talk with Dr. Wendy Brazilian, who is also the sports nutritionist for my sponsor Team Chocolate Milk, about recovery and the mistakes that people make. She told me the biggest mistake was people just not eating after a workout!
Here is how I recover from my hard workouts:
1. Hydration. When you workout, you sweat and your lose water. Take the time to properly hydrate your body with water and an electrolyte drink. I always have water and lowfat chocolate milk in my recovery. Lowfat chocolate milk has the right carb to protein ratio to help refuel your body and contains some natural electrolytes. Water is always great because it’s free and it’s really what most people crave after a long hard workout anyway. Can you ever go wrong with water?
2. Eat a proper meal. It would be easy to say I ran 20 miles and I can eat whatever I want…and some people do that. Hey, I use to do that! Do you remember my pancake and waffle obsession? I quickly squashed that after a little education. The meal you eat right after your workout is probably one of the most important meals you’ll have all day. Instead of going with what your body wants, go with what your body needs. I have to remember sometimes that I am an athlete (even though I want to dispute that sometimes) and that means I have to take care of my body to keep going. It’s also important to have that meal within 45 -60 minutes of completion of your workout. After finishing that race you might want to reach for the pizza, but save that for later and eat some real whole foods to help your body bounce back.
3. Compression socks. After a long run or spin on the bike, I will always put on compression socks. I really love the Pro Compression marathon socks. I first discovered Pro Compression at RnR Denver last year and I’ve used that brand recovery sock ever since. So what’s so great about the socks? These socks are one of the few compression socks companies that make a true graduated compression sock. The motto of the company is to “keep it tight” and the product definitely backs that up. The use of compression helps aid in recovery after strenuous workouts and I know my legs feel better after wearing these socks. True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflammation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.
I have worn them after every long run since I’ve been to Denver. I wore them last week after my run and bike ride and I definitely put them on after Saturday’s long run. My legs feel great today and I know that’s because of the Pro Compression socks.
I wear them everywhere. I also love that the socks come in great colors with different patterns. Remember when I told you I loved socks? These socks definitely fit the bill. I use the socks strictly for recovery but you can use them for exercise also because they have great arch support and are made from moisture wicking material to keep the sweat away from your skin. Also, the seams on this sock are pretty much no-existent which means there are no blisters. That’s really important if you’re using these socks to run in. I don’t like to run in compression socks, but the company also offers compression sleeves that I would run in.
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For me a hard workout is 90 minutes or more, so these are the tips and tools I use for myself. I was provided a free pair of Pro compression marathon socks by Fit Approach and Pro Compression for review but the opinions on the socks are all my own, obviously! They are some really great socks!
What are your recovery tips and tools? Maybe I can learn something from you too!