Post-event Top Tips For Recovery
When events start to come thick and fast, you can often find yourself walking a tightrope to staying fit and healthy. Toe-ing the start line for your 10k, departing early for your sportive ride, diving into the water for your swim, or sorting your kit at transition - the last thing on your mind is your next training session. You're ready to perform for your efforts.
However, after your event, it can be far too easy resume normal training before your body has fully recovered. As it can also be easy to miss key training because you haven't recovered in time.
Here, you can find some key tips to post-event recovery to improve your transition back to full training.
- Refuel and hydrate immediately - within 30 minutes of your event to replenish your glycogen stores. High sugar fruits, drink, or energy bars can be ideal to restore some glycogen before you have chance to have a full, carbohydrate-rich, meal.
- Change appropriately - dress into fresh/warmer clothes. Depending on the conditions, changing out of your race gear can be crucial to avoid catching illness and infection when your immune system is vulnerable. Dress warm in cold conditions, and remove sweaty clothes (also in hot conditions) that can quickly get cold.
- Cool down activity - 5-15 minutes of very light exercise following event can help to reduce the likelihood of being sore the following day.
- Every-day posture - assess the position of your body. For example, if you have just completed 100 miles in the saddle through the Lake District, your hips have been in an intense, closed position. You have a three hour drive home and work at your desk the following day. You're keeping them closed during your every-day routine. Be conscious of your post-event movement pattens. Stand up more. Or, take a break from driving, or your desk.
- Stay hydrated - to follow from a previous point, hydration is very important. Some events can leave your body extremely dehydrated. Your body will not absorb what it needs at a required rate from what you drink immediately post-event. So, it is important to keep drinking throughout the day and days after your event.
- Reactive stretching techniques - active isolated stretching (AIS). You may have a specific ache or pain following the event that needs attention. Applying AIS techniques can help reduce pain, restore integrity of tissue, and place those areas back in a position to recover normally.
- Self-massage techniques - kick-starts the recovery process. Certain techniques, such as foam rolling, can help fresh blood and nutrients get to tired muscle, break down restriction, and restore mobility.
- Post-event sports massage - an extension to self-massage techniques. Practitioners can specifically target areas in need of attention as well as general sports massage. See more benefits here.
- High quality sleep - mind and body restoration. Poor sleep following an event and resuming training can increase the chances of fatigue. So, no late night on your phone trying to find good images from the event to post to social media!
- Listen to your body. Through all of these points, and when returning to training, your body will tell you if you're not ready. Legs feeling heavy, DOMS kicking in, finding workouts more difficult than two weeks prior. Train smart before nailing your next key session.