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20
March
2020

Strategies For Optimum Recovery

How you recover from a workout is as important as the workout itself. Your training camp is a good opportunity to try out new techniques as your training time will push you closer to your limits.

 

 

We always said to our athletes; World Class Recovery is part of World Class Performance. Switching into training mode and then switching off completely after the session is often the norm for an athlete. But once your session is finished you should immediately go into World Class Recovery mode.

You can adopt your World Class Recovery strategy to fit your training, whether it is away on camp, a long weekend or even just a morning session which you’ve completed before rushing off to the office.


Nutrition
Here it is important to remember your nutritional intake not only aids your recovery but also it is also refuelling your body ready for the sessions to follow. After your session, your body immediately starts rebuilding its lost glycogen stores and repairing muscle protein. This all helps our muscles to strengthen and grow.

The main food types to help replenish the glycogen are carbohydrate and protein. The aim is to stimulate the production of insulin which in turn, will increase the amount of glycogen in your muscles.

A food/drink source with both carbohydrate and protein can nearly double the amount of insulin produced. More insulin produced and more glycogen stored.

The protein element of your refuelling strategy will also provide you with the amino acids which will assist your muscle recovery.

Carbohydrates and Protein intake after training
Quantity: Research shows that a carbohydrate to protein ratio of either 4:1 or 5:1 is optimal for reloading. An athlete would typically take about 10g of protein and between 40-50g of carbohydrate to maximise the replenishment of glycogen.

For ease of digestion and absorption most athletes will take calories in liquid form.

Myth: More protein is key to a successful recovery. In fact, taking more protein than you need after exercise will slow glycogen replenishment and rehydration. This will lead to poor recovery.

Timing: You should aim at consuming your post training fuel between 15 and 30 minutes after completion of the session.


Rehydration
Keeping hydrated during and after each training session is important so that you don’t start the next session slightly dehydrated. Begin the new session dehydrated and it will be difficult to reload sufficiently through the workout which could lead to all sorts of problems.

The amount and the type of rehydration will vary depending on the temperature of your training environment, the length and the intensity of your session.

Quantity: Simply weigh yourself before and after a training session. For every 1kg you lose you need between 1 – 1.25kg of liquid. Because quantities could vary, it is useful to keep reweighing yourself frequently.

Type: Additional electrolytes maybe required following a workout (sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium). These can be either added to your favoured recovery drink or some fruit cordial and can be easily consumed.

 

 

 

Sleep and Stress

You can’t beat a great night’s sleep. It sounds so easy but it is a great cure for many aliments. The better the quality, the longer the duration, will improve your mood, insulin sensitivity and training/racing performances.

Length of Sleep: Studies have shown 7-9 hours each night will aid optimum recovery.

 

 

Use a Foam Roller
These are becoming an essential part of every Elite athlete’s training kit bag. Foam rolling massages your muscles to reduce tightness and delay the onset of muscles soreness which will help with your range of movement in the next session.

Foam rollers can be used in precise locations of your own body. Trying out positions and actions will help you arrive at your best “rolling” practise.

Compression Wear
Compression wear simply increases the flow of blood (and therefore oxygen), thereby reducing recovery time. During exercise, the compression wear will also help reduce muscle damage and fatigue.

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