Do you want to perform at your highest level?
Recovery is the most overlooked aspect of training. If you don’t allow your body to recover and heal from the stresses you place on it, you are compromising your physical performance and increasing your injury risk.
“I have NEVER encountered Physical Therapists who were as invested and genunely concerned with me being at my full physical potential. The staff is widely knowledgeable about athletic injuries and recovery.”
– Julius B. (5 Star Google Review)
When it comes to running, how you wind down afterward and in-between workouts is just as important as how you warm up beforehand. The strenuous pace at which you push your body through will take a toll by exhausting your glycogen (which is stored in muscles for quick energy), breaking down muscle fibers, and causing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), and making you tired all over in general. Here are seven recovery tips to prevent injury and increase your running performance:
1. Nutrition and Hydration: Certain foods consumed at specific times and amounts can help prevent soreness and promote recovery after a training session — namely complex carbohydrates plus protein to help repair and rebuild muscles. Eating at a ratio of 3 complex cards to 1 protein, within a half hour of running when your muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen stores is advisable by the American Council of Exercise (ACE). The easy solution here is to find a favorite protein bar that has a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein or perhaps a plain bagel with peanut butter or almond butter. ACE also advises drinking lots of water to “help regulate blood pressure, body temperature, and redistribute energy and nutrients throughout your entire body. If you run for less than 90 minutes plain water will sufficiently rehydrate your body. For runs longer than 90 minutes plus, you’ll want to replenish glycogen to your muscles so a sports drink or alternative will help keep you going. To perform at your best you will want to consult a dietician or nutritionist versed in sports nutrition. They will be able to tailor a plan specific to your training and lifestyle to ensure optimal results.
2. Make Sure to Incorporate Mobility Training: Running requires specific amounts of range of motion to be successful. If you are not able to get certain joints into specific positions your body will find alternative ways to achieve the task via compensation patterns. This can lead to inefficient movement patterns and also increasing stress/load into tissues that are not well suited to the stresses of running and possibly lead to injury. At Perfect Stride we can assess your musculoskeletal system, prescribe and educate you on how to optimize your mobility training routine by:
3. Cross-Train. Cross-training can be effective in protecting muscles from being overworked as you continue active exercise. The purpose of cross training is to improve your aerobic fitness and tissue resiliency without the impact of running. This is why most people consider cross-training to also be an injury reduction and performance enhancing tactic during training. Cross-training days should be used strategically to either promote recovery or prepare you for a hard effort (like a long run). It depends on your level of fitness and what type of race you’re training for. But for example, on days you need to give yourself time to recover from running, do a low-impact activity such as biking, strength training, swimming, yoga or using the elliptical trainer at your gym. A short walk can even give your running muscles and joints a needed change of pace while allowing you to maintain your fitness level.
Your Doctor of Physical Therapy and certified Running Coach at Perfect Stride will work with you to determine exactly what the best training schedule looks like for you and your training needs. We will take into account your schedule, goals, current level of fitness, running/injury history and many other factors. For the injured or sidelined runner, you may need to cross-train more frequently but speak with your Physical Therapist to get advice on how much cross-training is recommended for your specific injury. Cross-training can be helpful to runners with an injury to maintain fitness levels and better cope with the frustration of being sidelined from running.
4. Get Manual Therapy or Try Soft Tissue Mobilization. Manual therapy is more than a passive hands on treatment modality: It’s also an effective way to help reduce muscle tension and soreness, reduce injury risk, increase range of motion, and more. When you use a muscle group to do work repeatedly and consistently for extended periods of time, you break down your muscle fibers so that they may rebuild to become stronger and more efficient. This is how your muscles adapt to increased workloads. In the process your tissues become sensitized due to the breakdown of tissue fibers. Using a foam roller post-workout or active recovery routine will allow you to desensitize the involved tissues, reduce post workout soreness and even improve range of motion so that you can get your body back to healthy functionality. A Physical Therapist can help you with providing skilled manual therapy and also providing guidance on what forms of soft tissue mobilizations are best for you.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep. After a long hard training session or race, a good night’s sleep is very important as your body needs quality downtime to recover and repair. This means that even on nights after you haven’t exercised, you should be in the habit of going to bed and getting up at times that will allow you to log at least 8 hours of sleep (of course this number may vary for individuals but this is a good general rule). Sleep is often overlooked by runners, but it is so important in preventing injury and building muscle. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night is one of the first things to try when a runner experiences problems with injuries or endurance/fatigue. By staying up too late and not sleeping properly a runner makes it impossible for the body to adequately repair itself.
There is no muscle growth that occurs during your workouts. In fact, after a hard speed session or long run, the muscles are actually broken down and demonstrating small micro tears. The body has the ability to repair the muscle and actually make it stronger so that it can withstand future workouts. However, this rebuilding occurs primarily during sleep.
When sleeping, the body’s temperature and heart lowers and the entire body enters a stage of relaxation. During the deepest stage of sleep, which is called rapid eye movement (REM), the body releases growth hormones to repair muscle tissue. The muscles are paralyzed during this time to allow maximum repair.
6. Consider Compression Therapy. Visit Perfect Stride in Union Square, New York City and enjoy a relaxing session with our Air Relax Compression Boots. If you’re feeling sore, whether from chronic pain, injury or from a workout, or simply to help boost lymph drainage (detox). Used world-wide by orthopedic surgeons, athletic trainers, professional and Olympic athletes, compression therapy has quickly become the treatment option of choice for:
These boots use compression to move fluids into localized areas for seconds at a time. This causes higher levels of oxygen into individual muscles in the legs, helping to speed up muscle recovery. Overall lymph drainage is boosted, along with a boost in circulation, while lactic acid is flushed out of the legs. The Air Relax Compression Boots will cover your legs entirely, including your feet. Air will compress various areas around your feet and thighs, moving blood into the specific areas of your legs for several seconds at a time. Then, the compression eases up, allowing the blood to flow into other areas within the legs, as the compression shifts to other parts of the legs. The compression will take place in different areas throughout your treatment. The calves, thighs, feet, etc.
7. Arrange for a Physical Therapy Recovery Session. When you are feeling really beat up from your training, or need to make sure that you are on point for your upcoming workout, leave the work to us to get you performing at your optimal level. Our recovery sessions are designed to improve the recovery of your body, reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), reduce stiffness, and improve blood circulation.
Your recovery session may include Hypervolt Vibration Therapy (to increase oxygen and blood flow at targeted areas, desensitizing tissues, and temporarily increasing mobility), Air Relax Compression Boots, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (Graston Technique), Mobility Exercises, Individualized Warm Up/Cool Down Routine, Hands-on/manual work, Rock Tape Kinesiotaping & more.
‘Rest’ is often perceived as a dirty word by runners, with many fearing that they will lose all of their hard earned fitness in an instant. The fact is rest and recovery are perhaps the 2 most under-rated aspects of training for runners. Even elite athletes will tell you that it’s very difficult to be in great shape all year round. In order to produce a peak performance consider breaking the year (or several months) into smaller blocks of time, with each block having a different focus. Rest and recovery is an important part of this approach and should be included with each training block, enabling you to absorb all the training and to maximize those all-important fitness gains.
We treat a wide range of injuries and conditions. However, one things remains common, we are committed to listening to you, optimizing your function and seeking the best outcome possible for you, the individual. Each patient is provided a specific diagnosis and a individualized treatment program.
We offer a lot more than just Physical Therapy here at Perfect Stride. Our therapists hold numerous advanced certifications and are industry leaders who have been reshaping how Physical Therapy and Movement Intervention is provided. Our team of Performance Physical Therapists not only understand injury inside out, they understand movement and know how to get you back into the game.
Your Physical Therapy experience will be tailored to facilitate an efficient and healthy recovery. Every patient’s treatment plan is structured and designed based on the root cause of their problem; there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Our therapists hold numerous advanced certifications and are industry leaders who have been reshaping how Physical Therapy is provided. Treatment at Perfect Stride is always unique to the individual, click on the topic below to learn more.
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Let us know how to get in touch with you and we will help you schedule your next appointment and answer any questions you may have.
Let us know how to get in touch with you and will reach out to answer any questions you may have and get you scheduled
Let us know how to get in touch with you and we can help you schedule your free discovery call with us.