Stop, Rehabilitate & Listen

Rest and recovery, it’s just as important as actual training I have come to discover in the past year or so. Rest to me, before I was enlightened, meant taking multiple days off in a row and running garbage weekday miles so I could save myself for outrageously long weekend distances. I mean, if that’s what you want to do, by all means do it…but all that ended up doing for me was turn me into a stagnant power hiker who didn’t realize she had way more potential. The switch flipped when I signed up for coaching and I had 2 assigned rest days that were not back to back…wait, what, huh? You mean I don’t get to couch surf for two (sometimes three) consecutive days? It was a foreign concept and one I thought I would hate but I truly ended up loving. Turns out, it renewed my passion for the sport and made running much less of a tight muscled shuffle the first day back from rest. I look forward to my rest days just as much as I look forward to my running days. It’s all about finding that perfect balance!

Definition of Rest

I’ll qualify this by saying that this is my personal definition of rest but one that I find should be pretty universal. Rest is a day of 100% no activity, not even cross training. Certainly you can cross train and that’s not bad but that’s also not rest. That would be active recovery. I practice one complete rest day a week and I fully believe that everyone should as well for longevity. #RestDayBrags

Definition of Recovery

Any activity that you do to restore or strengthen your body from your main sport.

Foam Rolling

I do this every single day, or at least try to. When you first start, it can be super painful and you won’t want to do it for long periods of time. Keep at it and eventually once it becomes a habit it will feel amazing to roll out those sore and fatigued muscles. I do it while watching my favorite shows at night so it’s easier to be distracted and do it for longer.

Check out this video from my coach David Roche if you need tips on what type of rolling you should do as a runner.

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Float

Thanks to Primal Flow for introducing me to this as I have found this to be an amazing tool for my physical and mental state. It’s 90 minutes of complete escape from the outside world of screens, jobs and stress. You essentially float naked in body temperature water with pounds of epsom salt (bonus muscle relief) in which its completely dark (you can turn a light on if desired) and quiet (you can also choose to listen to low, comforting music for any length of time during the float. I personally choose to listen the whole time because it helps focus and center my thoughts in a meditative way). Everyone has a different experience with the float itself but I have found after every time I’ve gone I get the deepest soundest sleep afterward. I go to Radi8Float.

Deep Tissue Massage

This is something I like to do any time it feels like things are getting too tight or sore which usually ends up being once every 2 months, maybe more if I’m training hard. I recommend Chris Grauch at Boulder Deep Tissue because he’s very affordable, super intuitive and is a runner himself so he is knowledgeable with runner’s ailments. It’s not what I would call a “relaxing” massage. He digs in with the intent of releasing the tightness so sometimes it can get pretty intense, but afterward it feels amazing!

Maintenance & Injury Rehab

Do you feel a niggle? Are you dealing with something seemingly small but its effecting your gait? Plantars Fasciitis? Find a good Doctor of Physical Therapy near you. In Boulder, I go to Heather at Red Hammer Rehab (Michael is also very good and I will go to him if Heather is not available). Heather is a runner and understands our crazy and has seen just about every running related ailment there is. Be warned, you will feel pain. This has never been an enjoyable experience for me when I go but she gets the job done. Usually if you don’t wait to long to see her, it’s a one and done type situation. I guess there is one pleasant part of the experience. After you get stress sweats in the hot seat, you get hooked up to this really comfortable e-stim with a heated blanket and pass out for like 20 minutes while you forget all about how mean she was to you.

Another great place to go for injury is Ginna at Boulder Acusport. I personally would choose to go to her if I had a very tight muscle that I needed to release that foam rolling or massage isn’t taking care of. I was skeptical of acupuncture initially. I pictured people poking needles into you randomly, calling it relaxing and it somehow magically fixes you.

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That is not what this is. This is a very intricate and educated Licensed Acupuncturist pinpointing your muscles to release with a needle. It’s not voodoo science, it works and I highly recommend it.

Sleep

This seems obvious but sleep is so important for recovery. Not getting good sleep? You will likely not feel very energized and happy on your runs. This is something I struggle with a lot so I use CBD oil at night and it helps tremendously. I also find if I shut off electronics and TV an hour before bed and read a book or write in a journal it leads to much better sleep. Don’t take good sleep for granted!

Well there you go! I hope this helped you in any way. Happy resting and recovery my friends!!

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