Recovery Not Needed
While I was on Twitter last week I asked what you all wanted to know more about. Laura asked if I could talk about my recovery and cross-training methods. So of course I wanted to give her what she asked for.
I've never talked much about what I do for cross-training, because honestly I don't do it unless I'm injured. Cross-training isn't my cup of tea, and I have yet to find something that I enjoy to do other then running. Now I'm not going to say that cross-training only has to be done when you're injured. I have a ton of friends who add a day of cross-training into their week so they aren't out pounding on the roads and trails. Jumping on a bike, doing some laps in the pool, or any other type of low impact training is great. If you feel better adding a day than do so.
My recovery "cross-training" involves just taking the day off from running. I usually don't take days off unless I feel like I need them. It might be a Sunday one week, or a Wednesday another week. The philosophy behind my recovery honestly depends on how my body is feeling. There are some days where my "off" day is a 35 minute run with some rust buster pick-ups. Nothing hard, nothing fast, and nothing straining. My coach likes to sometimes call them "feel good" runs. It refreshes my mind probably more than my legs, but it helps me.
Other from my off/feel good days, I take post workout recovery pretty serious. Rolling, stretching, heat therapy and massage are key elements in my recovery process. A lot of you know that I love the Roll Recovery R8, Addaday Type A Roller, and my lacrosse ball, but you are probably asking why I heat instead of ice. In college my body never reacted well to ice baths, and my massage therapist quickly told my coaches I was NOT allowed to ice bath. I went along with it at the time without asking questions because, well I hated ice baths. Fast forward to last year where I started to take Epsom Salt baths once a week. For some reason these made me feel 10x better than any ice bath I had ever taken. This past summer I had the pleasure of getting a massage from the lovely Richelle at Oiselle Bird Camp. Again, I was told to not take ice baths, so this time I asked why. She told me my muscles are to dense and ice bath doesn't help start the recovery process for me like it should. She told me unless it's acute then I need to be heating. BAM! Finally I know the reason behind why I always felt worst after ice baths, and since then heat has been my life savor.
You can find me taking a Epsom Salt bath once a week, rolling out every day for at least 25 minutes, doing dynamic stretches, and taking a day off every once and a while. I'm pretty simple when it comes to recovery methods, and would love to find a cross-training routine that I like. So if you have any suggestions for cross-training leave them. Hope this helps any of you out there! Want to know more? Just ask :)