Recover Like An Olympian
As my college coach used to always say in August… “this is your time to train like a pro”. Obviously, we loved when he said that. We all wanted to emulate the actions of our running heroes (and she-roes). We knew our coach meant that it was the one month when we didn’t have school, we all took time off work, and our sole responsibility was to train and take care of our bodies. We had ALL DAY to focus on running but then again… we had all day. How were we supposed to fill that time? What did pros actually do? How do you focus on recovery throughout the WHOLE day!?
Well let’s hear it from a seasoned pro – how to focus on recovery,
HC: OKAY, SO LET’S WALK THROUGH YOUR RUNNING ROUTINE. YOU FINISH A BIG WORKOUT, WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF DOING?
KG: Definitely fill my stomach. As soon as I finish a solid effort I know my body needs to rehydrate and replenish calories. I don’t reach for solids right away, instead I go for a nourishing drink such as Nuun or Vega Protein Powder that I can slowly take in while my stomach adjusts.
HC: COMPLETELY AGREE, I HAVE MADE THE MISTAKE OF EITHER NO FOOD POST-WORKOUT OR SOLIDS WAY TOO SOON. NEITHER ARE FUN. SO NOW THAT YOU HAVE SOMETHING IN YOUR STOMACH, WHAT’S YOUR NEXT MOVE?
KG: I don’t like going straight from running to sitting so I do some dynamic exercises such as knees to chest, leg swings, foot to butt, as well as strength and stability exercises. Also, there is no such thing as too much foam roller. I foam roll to prevent sore muscles and maintain flexibility. The great thing about this part of my recovery is that I can repeat it a couple times throughout the day or in the evening, if I feel it’s necessary.
HC: OH FOAM ROLLING SUCH A GLORIOUS RECOVERY TOOL. SO ONCE YOU’RE FEELING A LITTLE LOOSE AND STRETCHED OUT, HOW DO YOU TACKLE THE OTHER TASKS IN YOUR DAY WHILE STILL ACTIVELY RECOVERING?
KG: Since all the other things in my world don’t stop just because it’s a workout day, I hop in the shower really quick and then give my feet a quick rest by sitting down and taking on my real meal. Brunch. A big batch of eggs, avocadoes, and potatoes, give my body the real deal replenishment my muscles need.
HC: BRUNCH, ALSO ANOTHER FAVORITE RECOVERY TOOL. OKAY, WHAT’S THE LAST AND FINAL RECOVERY METHOD OF YOUR DAY?
KG: As they always say, “last but not least”. Sleep may be the last step of the day but it’s one of the most important steps to recovery. I’ve had to sacrifice some sleep since having Colt, but it is something I would tell anyone to try and maximize while training hard. Also, you are never too old for naps. Sleep doesn’t have to be the last step of the day, if you feel like you need a nap, take one.
HC: ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KEEP IN MIND?
KG: Don’t forget the other parts of self-care! Find moments to pause and reflect, practice positive self talk, and right after hard sessions – get into clothes that feel good on your body. Cleary why I wanted a sleeveless hoodie in my collection. Workouts are a time for discomfort, post-workout is a time for comfort and relaxation (even if it's only for a few minutes).
*Thanks to our friends at Well + Good who started the conversation on recovery with Kara Goucher!