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How to Best Recover After a Race

The boot camp “Extra-Fitness Challenge” has inspired a lot of campers who typically do not do “races” to lace up there sneaks and get out there to burn calories, to have fun doing something different than boot camp on the weekend and to enjoy time with fellow campers. Because there are so many races going on throughout the summer in Milwaukee, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss how to recover quickly after a challenging physical endeavor!

Prevention

The best way to treat extreme muscle soreness is to prevent it in the first place. So if you are super stiff, you may not have put in enough training to manage the effort effectively. Next event, consult with a running coach to assure your training protocol sufficiently prepares you for the race, or check out a proper training schedule online, there are tons of options.

Cold treatment, elevation and anti-inflammatories

We experience stiffness due to the body’s inflammation response. If you’ve done a little too much, your body will send blood flow and nutrients to the affected area to help heal the tissues.  The problem is typically the body overcompensates and you get too much fluid in the area causing pressure and pain. So whatever you can do to decrease the inflammation response will help with the amount of associated painIce or cold treatment will constrict the blood vessels slowing down blood flow to the area and therefore decreasing the inflammation response. Some athletes will sit in an ice bath or cold river, or hose down their affected muscles with cold water or just use ice packs. Elevating the affected areas will also decrease the blood flow and the inflammation response. While others will use ibuprofen or Aleve or a topical anti-inflammatory like Traumeel or Arnica; don’t overdo it though! We still want to assure adequate blood flow to aid the healing process.

Move that body

The last thing you want to do when you are really sore is workout. But if you sit around, you actually get stiffer.  So it’s better to get moving and help flush some of those fluids out of the tissues. Just make it easy like a gentle walk or bike ride and that should do the trick!

Massage

Book an appointment with a therapist that can do some reflexology, acupressure or cupping techniques to help release some of the tissues. I’m a firm believer in the importance of body-work such as massage as well as daily foam rolling if you are extremely active. It’s the support your body needs to be able to continue doing what you want for years and years! And don’t forget, Elements in Whitefish Bay offers our boot campers a nice discount for massage and/or massage with stretch.

Proper nutrition & hydration

Be sure to drink lots of water, eat tons of fruits and vegetables and lean protein sources to adequately fuel the healing process!

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Crossing the finish line definitely changes you!

Yours in health & fitness,

Coach Catherine

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