13 Feb Top 8 Tips for Recovery
As we are rapidly getting closer to spring and the hope of better weather is coming (hopefully) we turn our attention to recovery, especially from the bigger miles many runners are starting to put in each week as they build up for their spring events.
Lindsey has popped together some key tips from talking to her runners on the massage couch about what YOU can do to maximise your recovery and eliminate those tired legs!
Over to Lindsey:
Time is ticking on and Spring Marathon season is almost upon us.
With a mere 9 weeks until London and Southampton Marathons it’s around this point where many runners will be seeing their weekly mileage creeping up and the feeling of fatigue will be creeping in.
Let me settle your nerves for one second – fatigue is a good thing. Fatigue means your body is starting to adapt to the training you are giving it.
However, we still need to think about what happens between your runs.
This is one area that can not be neglected!!
Marathon training is brutal on the body, high mileage as the weeks progress, which also means the legs are taking a good bashing from pounding the pavements week in and week out.
As a Sports Masseur, I deal with a lot of tired and achy legs. In fact, working through those lumps and bumps in the muscles can be quite a satisfying part of the job, especially when I hear how clients have got on with their races:
“I completed my first marathon in 2014 (London) and never thought about a massage. My recovery was slow and I felt tired for a while.
This year I ran the Southampton marathon. Having been on the Runcamp weekend, I felt more prepared as to how I should look after myself pre and post the event.
My pre marathon massage put me in a place where my legs felt free to go and do the job. I got a PB!!!
The post marathon massage was as if Lindsey put me back together. Even my husband said I left not walking properly and returned as normal. Thank you for working your magic. My recovery took three days.
My next marathon will certainly include a sports massage as I definitely feel that helped. How and why did I not know about importance of this before.”
Ironman training as you can imagine (3.8km Swim, 180km Bike and then a marathon… in one day..!) is tough going and involves long hours of essential training that can’t be missed if you want to cross that finish line in one piece.
Coach Ant had a weekly sports massage to keep in legs in tip top condition to ensure he was able to complete all his training sessions to the best of his ability.
Keeping his body free from tightness and niggles was the aim of the weekly sports massage and it worked a treat.
The first couple of sports massages revealed quite a few areas of tightness that needed addressing to ensure they didn’t get any tighter and run the risk of turning into injuries. His quads (thigh muscles) were like rocks and it definitely gave me a good arm workout relieving the tightness!
As the months of training progressed and the intensity ramped up, the weekly sports massages were keeping his legs in good working order. I managed to get his muscles into a much more supple state and remove the tightness so that his muscles were free to function optimally and ensure he was in the best condition to face his Ironman.
Even when you are having massage frequently, you still need to look after those legs between runs to keep them healthy and happy, so I have popped together some top tips to aid your recovery during your marathon training.
These tips are suitable for any runner at any level too, so if you found them useful, hit the share button at the bottom of the page so you can help a fellow runner improve their recovery too.
1. Stretch after every run and hold each stretch for 15-30s [see image 1 below for ideas]. Stretching is one of the easiest and simplest ways to look after your legs, and yet many runners neglect this area. Not any more, check out image one for some quick and simple stretches.
2. Foam roll after every run, if you don’t have one then it’s definitely worth getting one [see image 2 below for ideas], although it’s not as deep as a sports massage, it’s still a worthwhile tool to have to keep on top of those slight niggles that we all get from time to time
3. Ensure you have an easy session/rest day the day after a hard session. Our body recovers and gets stronger during rest. Harder is not always better when it comes to running
4. Keep hydrated by drinking at least 1.5-2L of water each day, this is enough to keep our body functioning as it should and doesn’t take into consideration exercise. If it’s an exercise day then add another 250-750ml
5. Ensure you eat protein 30-60 minutes after a high intensity session (whether that is from food, i.e lean meat, eggs etc or a protein shake, which is quick and easy to consume once your session has finished)
6. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit throughout the day and remember to add vegetables to your lunch as well as dinner. If you have a weight loss goal then eat a higher ratio of vegetables to fruit (e.g. 5:1 – 5 vegetables to every 1 fruit)
7. Book yourself regular sports massage to help relieve those tight and achy legs and keep them in tip top condition so you can complete all your training. I would recommend once a month in the lead up to the marathon and also a post marathon massage 2-4 days after the event, but many runners I’ll see more frequently, especially if they are running more frequently or getting niggles and tightnesses in their bodies
8. Get a good amount of sleep each night. It is recommended to have between 7-9 hours each night. This is when our body recovers from the days tasks we’ve put it through. If you sacrifice a decent amount of sleep, it will affect your mood, energy levels, mental sharpness and the ability to deal with stress. Also when tired your perception of effort required for a session will be greater than if well rested.
If you feel you need some nutrition advice for your marathon training or would like to book a sports massage then reach out to me by filling in the form below with any questions or enquiries and I’ll get right back to you.
Here are those images I promised earlier on:
Lindsey is the RunCamp Sports Massage Therapist and Nutrition Expert.
She not only helps runners each week to ease their tired and weary legs, but she works with them on their diets building healthy habits that help them lose weight, become faster and ultimately be happier day to day.
When she isn’t running herself she can be found cycling, enjoying the outdoors and occasionally indulging in a slice of cake with a cup of tea (her favourite combination!)
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!