The most important aspect to training for runners. Also, an aspect of performance that is neglected too often. If you are not recovering properly from your runs and workouts, improvement will be very difficult. Giving your body the proper rest, proper nutrition, and utilizing the proper stretching/rolling techniques will help to maintain consistency and prevent injury. As for me personally, I’ll break it down to my top 4 essentials (not including rest):
this is something I always do after running or lifting, as well as the first thing in the morning after I wake up. In the morning, it helps to wake up your muscles and joints and helps to roll out any knots first thing to loosen up your body.
before running, opt for dynamic stretching as opposed to static stretching. You want to warm up the muscles prior to exercising, but you do not want to pull these muscles by holding the poses for a long period of time. I always do movements such as leg swings, hip openers, walking hamstring reaches, and walking lunges with a twist before running! In addition, some of my favorite post-run stretches are pigeon pose, as well as quad and hamstring holds.
I have been taking collagen almost every day for years. You can add it to your coffee, smoothies, oats, baked goods, etc.! It adds an amazing source of protein, and also offers joint support, gut support, and skin/nails/hair support. I love the brands Ancient Nutrition and Vital Proteins!
Electrolytes and Potassium:
After a run, it’s important to replace electrolytes, especially when you sweat a lot! I find electrolyte tablets mixed with ice water or lemon water to be extremely refreshing specifically after a summer run. My go-to hydration supplement is Nuun Hydration Tablets (my favorite flavor is the Strawberry Lemonade Sport). As for potassium sources, my top two are sweet potatoes and bananas. Typically, if I eat anything before a run, I’ll opt for a banana because of the quick carbohydrate and potassium source to keep from cramping and it is easy on my stomach.
As someone that runs a lot of miles, I like to focus on eating a lot of foods that help reduce inflammation in the body. While there are MANY fruits and vegetables with anti-inflammatory properties, there are a couple that I incorporate into my diet on a daily basis, those being turmeric and cinnamon! I love adding turmeric to savory dishes and cinnamon to just about anything sweet (yogurt bowls, oatmeal, etc.). Even more, salmon is one of my favorite protein sources which provides a good source of omega-3’s (as does a lot of types of fish!), which help to reduce inflammation. And lastly cherries! I love to snack on fresh cherries in the summer, or frozen dark sweet cherries when they are not in season.
Written by guest writer Kelly Wesolowski with contributions from https://marathonhandbook.com