As a runner who is still training and competing, with an exercise science background, and the real-world application of coaching athletes, Coach Greg McMillan is bringing three perspectives together to help people figure out how to get from where they currently are as a runner to reaching their goals.
In this FREE E-book, Coach Greg highlights the importance of recovery for runners and shares his top recovery tips.
THE FUNCTION OF RECOVERY
Recovery is critical after running because you need to replenish energy stores, recover the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, and recover the mind. Our muscles contract a lot to be able to run and propel your body across the earth. When you run, your body endures 2-3 times your body weight every time you land. The average runner takes 1500 steps per mile.
This puts a lot of stress on your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, so recovery should not be discounted. Naturally the extent to which you need to recover is based on the workout. If you do a minute easy run in normal conditions and your next run is 24 to 48 hours later, then you don’t have to worry about recovery as much.
However, if you’re doing a hard workout session in the heat, that adds a whole different level of stress to the body and recovery becomes much more important. Having the right recovery nutrition helps you refuel and ensures that you have energy stores available to use a day or even four days later.
Proteins and fats support muscle recovery. We have limited carbohydrate stores and if you train for a long time or at high intensity, you burn through those carbohydrates stores to some extent and need to replenish them.
We can refuel quickly, but rebuilding takes a little bit longer. If you’ve ever gone to a professional football game three hours before kickoff, you’ll see the linemen doing all kinds of work to get ready for the game. There’s a whole new emphasis on preparedness for the activity and then accelerating the recovery, which nutrition plays a huge role in.