It’s Five for Friday again and I’m still riding a bit of a high from last weekend’s race. I have another race (running type) this weekend that I’m looking forward to even though I have a feeling it’s going to be a slight sufferfest with the heat that’s predicted for the weekend.
Anyway, my favorite things for recovery after a hard workout or a race.
- First, I always try to do some immediate stretching after I’m done because I feel like it keeps me from tightening up or cramping. My favorite stretches are anything for the hamstrings and calves, like either using stairs or just leaning against a wall and pushing my calves down.
- Foam rolling. I got into foam rolling while I was deployed as a way to ease aching muscles. My favorite was a medieval-looking torture device with a knobby grid that could really get into the muscles. It looked like this one from REI
Last year at Bird Camp we had a seminar from the maker of PHLX (pronounced “flex”) and were also given one to take home with us. I’ve used it exclusively since then because it’s easy to travel with and really convenient for a variety of uses. I really like how the pieces nest inside each other because it makes it easier to store them and to find what I want.
- Yoga. I admittedly do not do enough or a good enough job of this. I just need to get it into my routine and make time for it because I know it helps. My favorites so far have been Jasyoga, either online or in book form, or any vinyasa flow class.
- Easy running. It’s always hard and a little painful to head out on a run after a race or a hard workout, but I find that just a short, easy run really helps get the kinks out of my system. To keep it light I go somewhere fun and pretty, like down by the Savannah River or even just around the park next to my house.
- A cold, stiff drink. Georgia is new to me in that it doesn’t sell alcohol before 1230 on Sundays so if I have a Sunday race I usually make sure I have something to look forward to at home beforehand. My favorite post-race drink is probably a tall frozen margarita with tons of salt on the rim. I got to visit Riverwatch Brewery (the first brewery in the CSRA in 95 YEARS!) last weekend (currently only open Fridays and Saturdays until September 1 and then open more days) and once September 1 hits and it’s open more often, I will probably use that as part of my post-race junk food refueling. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a visit!
Question: What do you like to do to help recover from a hard workout or race?