Monday, February 1, 2016

Thoughts on Recovery

by Marilyn Chychota

Recovery is one of the most important pieces to endurance sports success, but it is also frequently misunderstood.

Work is the key to improvement and we recover to be able to work. Without recovery, work is compromised and sometimes even stopped altogether. The quicker and better you recover, the more and faster you can work. But for various reasons, mostly due to a misunderstanding of its true value, recovery is one of the first things some athletes strip out of their programs in the effort to do more work.

So, what happens when you recover properly?

  • You are repairing muscle
  • You are creating a clear, focused mind
  • You are developing quickness and coordination
  • You are avoiding illness and developing a strong immune system.
  • You are maintaining normal hormone levels

When work is high and load and stress are high, your mind and body get broken down. If they get broken down too much, then performance or ability to continue to work is lost.

Things to consider to set up your best chance for true recovery

  • Sleep
  • Ice Baths after training or competition
  • Good nutrition - both quality and well timed
  • Compression - recovery boots, socks, clothing
  • Regular massage
  • Elevation of the legs - sitting with your legs up the wall or elevate the end of your bed slightly to enhance blood flow
  • Good hydration
  • Heat and stretching before work
  • Proper cool downs - low load cool downs (jogging for most is high load impact so choose something like rowing or spinning)
  • Complete warm ups
  • Night time poultice wraps to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Morning heat sweats to flush and loosen muscles

Having a complete plan to recover makes a big difference in multi-day competitions.

Always remember your goal is to come out strong every day. Proper programming in your training plan and complete recovery techniques play a big role in ensuring you can be at your best day every day.

Marilyn Chychota has been in elite sport since the age of 9, from show jumping to cycling and triathlon. Competing on an international stage in all three sports with an Ironman title, several podiums and state championships in cycling, Marilyn works with all distance and level of triathletes and cyclists. From beginners to elites; short course, bike racing, stage racing and long course triathlon, she has guided several athletes to the podium and to Hawaii qualifications.
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