Good Day Ripple Effect Athletes!
From the desk of Carolyn Parker ~
It’s that time of year another education email this time on Recovery.
As many of you know I have spent my life in performance athletics from my college days of bike racing, an extended climbing and guiding career, to various other endurance and strength based endeavors. All the while building a business that for the last two decades has supported athletes in their pursuit of performance, injury prevention, recovery from injury, and overall happy healthy lifestyle maintenance as we age.
Over all these years, I have observed the most often overlooked aspect of training is one of the most important: RECOVERY.
But what is Recovery? A term I hear thrown around a lot is someone is “over trained,” however the majority of recreational athletes who train regularly, have full time jobs, families, and many more responsibilities are more accurately “under-recovered”
Are you under recovered? Here are some clues:
Do you wake up rested or tired? – if tired you are not recovered.
Do you always need an alarm or do you wake up naturally after 8+ hours of sleep? Yes we need that much if training hard. Or do you have trouble sleeping, struggle with insomnia?
If you are acutely sore do you still train or wait until not sore to really train again, or go super easy. If regularly sore you are over reaching and under recovered.
Is your resting HR elevated in the morning? Do you know your resting HR?
Do you mentally have to push yourself to do every workout? Do you look forward to trying hard or Do you push yourself to train when you really want to nap?
Are you moody, cranky or short tempered? You may be under recovered.
Have you begun to under perform or plateau in your performance?
Do you feel super tired in the middle of the day (like you could fall asleep head on your desk)?
Do you have chronic injuries that flare up often and compromise performance? Or frequently get colds?
These are just examples of what you might physically, mentally, emotionally experience if under recovered.
So how do we actually RECOVER?
Prioritize Sleep 8+ hours a night.
More is not better when it comes to training, take a recovery week every two to three weeks, simple answer to what that looks like decrease your training activity by 50%.
Prioritize quality foods, hydrate properly and reduce alcohol consumption.
Practice self care: this can be stretching and mobility work, yoga, getting a massage, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, meditation, stop and seek advice if something hurts don’t push through pain.
Monitor your HR during endurance training so you know you are not chronically overreaching.
Cut back on training when work stress or life stress is high. Training does not happen in isolation. Training is stress, work can be stressful, unexpected life events can cause stress. Recovery is managing all those variables so we are not over extended.
Spend mellow time with friends and family doing something other than sport or training for sport.
Do not try and train like you did when you were 25 (and you are 50 or older) and do not compare yourself to others.
More is not better, harder is not better, smarter is better. Reach out to a professional if you need advice on how to reach your goals or balance your life. Often it is easier for others to see when you are than you being honest with yourself.
This list is not exhaustive by any means it’s certainly meant to get you thinking.
As someone who loves to train and has spent thousands of days in the mountains climbing/running/skiing/cycling and what not. I often feel that recovery is a harder thing to nail than the training and our needs change with age, life, stress, injury and more.
Here are a few resources for you to peruse and never hesitate to reach out for advise. Sending my best,Carolyn
Good to Go! by Christie Aschwanden
Heart Rate Training