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Speeding Recovery

An injury prevention and/or recovery article always seems to make it into my Google Reader feed at just the right time. That time being the I’m about to cross over the overtraining line so you better get back to those preventive exercises time.

For his latest article, Ben Greenfield interviewed David Tao, the chief researcher at about how to recover faster. You can read the entire article here but here are 9 things I took away from what I read:

  1. Sleep: There is strong evidence to support sleep helping with protein synthesis and muscle generation. There is also a strong connection between sleep and human growth hormone production, which helps keep muscles healthy and active. 
  2. Music: Listening to slow tempo music post exercise (in particular after an intense workout) can help bring the heart rate back down to what it would be in a resting state or before exercise.
  3. Massage: A massage helps break up the fascial connections that can form in response to stress in the muscles as well as reduce muscle tension
  4. The Stick and Foam Rollers: There is not really a lot of evidence to prove the benefits of foam rolling but there is definitely a lot of anecdotal evidence to suppor the claims. The Rumble Roller is the best.
  5. Compression Gear: Compression gear promotes optimal blood flow to those muscles that experience the most stress during exercise
  6. Icing: Research is now pointing to hot-cold therapy, not simply icing an area.
  7. Anti-inflammatories: Anti-inflammatories can hinder recovery by causing extra stress to the kidney and liver
  8. Naps: Naps for 30 or 90 minutes in the early or late afternoon (but not 5 hours within bed time) can help promote recovery
  9. Alcohol: One or two drinks post exercise is NOT going to hinder recovery

As race day approaches, I am going to focus more on sleep, music, massage, the Ruble Roller, and hot-cold therapy. I must get to the start line healthy.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Oh elliptical how I’ve missed thee. Not! I made a decision today to cross train instead of run. I think it was the best decision for me and luckily this week is a lower mileage/easy week. I also did a some strength training to work on my left leg. It made me sad to not be outdoors but it was definitely what my body needed.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Happy to see you’re taking care of yourself, and equally happy that sleeping is your first recovery priority.

    January 21, 2013
    • Thanks Danielle! Sleep is definitely my favorite recovery trick 🙂 Today is a track workout so I’m crossing my fingers my leg feels better. We shall see…

      January 22, 2013

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