Sleep the first step to run recovery

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 08:49 20/03/2014

Sleep, eat, sleep some more, eat some more and stretch out - that's been my recovery plan since Motatapu.

Recovery after an event is key. Not taking enough time off to allow your body to fully recover can lead to overtraining and injuries. 

Some will argue that you should capitalise on your fitness by continuing to train, others who may have had a bad run will throw themselves into runs with a vengence to prove they still have it and then others, like me, will take it easy.

After Motatapu, I felt ridiculously tired. Admittedly, I hadn't had a lot of sleep, but really my muscles were just plain old tired. Those six flights of stairs on the Monday morning felt like 10 times that!

This was not helped by my week turning into a hectic one so again I lacked the required shuteye!

I decided the focus would be on resting, rolling out and sleeping. But I haven't gone crazy on the junk food or spent hours just lazing around. Instead, I've gone for some strolls and worked out at the gym focusing on using different muscle groups.

Taking care of my body is top of my priority list - I can't afford to get injured before my South African adventure. Likewise, focusing on this goal is keeping me motivated to move while my leg muscles, and more specifically my knees, recover. 

Tomorrow I will tackle my first run. I think it'll be a gentle jog around South Hagley Park and then I'll build slowly back up into some longer miles.

But the key is to listen to your body. What works for me may not work for anyone else I know. Ultimately, we all recover at different rates.

What's your recovery plan? Do you go running straightaway or give yourself a few days off? Do you sign up for another event straightaway?

Comment below, email me on rachel.young@press.co.nz or follow me on Twitter @YoungRachelS

- The Press

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