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Post Workout Recovery Plan Tips

You put so much time and energy creating a run training plan and executing it, you deserve to get the most out of it.  The ironic (or balancing) side to all of this is the actions you do after the training session may have as great an impact on your endurance progression.

Along with a training plan, you need a recovery plan. A recovery plan consists of simple and/or somewhat involved actions that assist the bodies regeneration process. Simply, training breaks you down and recovery rebuilds and strengthens. If you forget the recovery, you can guess where the training progression may lead – shake the dice baby!

Steps To Enhance Recovery

Alan Couzens put together a nice article explaining some beneficial actions (the what and the why) you can incorporate into your recovery plan. His primary recommended post-exercise actions include:

  • Rehydrate immediately (Extremely important!). – Gradually get back to pre-session weight.
  • Cool/Ice baths or alternating between hot/cold.
  • Consume carbohydrates and some protein as soon after exercise as possible.
  • Sleep and stress management/control.

All good stuff! I personally appreciated the emphasis on rehydration. If your body’s transportation system is sluggish (dehydrated), you can’t get rid of the bad stuff and distribute the good stuff. Makes sense.

You can check out my run recovery tools post that includes some additional recovery aids.

How To Incorporate Into Your Real World

Couzens mentions focusing one day per week (usually your hardest training day) solely on training and recovery. This would be a great idea for some but for many this is not even feasible either by choice or requirement. So what can you do?

The beauty is these concepts are not an all-or-nothing proposal. Develop a recovery plan that works within your life.

Rehydration and nutrient consumption shouldn’t be that big of a challenge now that you are aware of the importance.

Be aware of your daily (weekday and weekend) routine and notice how you could incorporate some additional recovery strategies.

Some ideas:

  • 30 minute nap during the day.
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
  • Self-massage, foam roller, The Stick, or stretching while watching TV.
  • Elevate legs with a pillow or two while watching TV or reading a book.
  • Sit quietly focusing only on your breath for 10-20 minutes.

What are some ways you have been able to include recovery strategies into your daily or weekly schedule?

Ignoring these concepts won’t cause you to spontaneously combust in a Spinal Tap like fashion, but they may just help you achieve a new level of fitness that was sitting inside you waiting to be expressed. This could be achieved without an increase in training stress. Wrap your noggin around that!

Be active – Feel the buzz!

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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