Monday, August 15, 2011

Recovery - my ideas

Recently the question was put to me:

I've been struggling... probably going back to my high volume marathon training days... to find me a recovery drink solution that helps me from feeling wiped out hours after working out. I finished a 46 mile ride roughly 6 hours ago and I feel like the living dead.

I knew you did a review of a recovery drink months ago so looks like I found it and finally found it. Looks like you recommend these guys but what do you use? The Hammer Recoverite (from EMT article)?

Does what I'm looking for really exist? You do 50 milers before work, so figured you are highly qualified.

Now, I'm no nutritional expert and I did NOT sleep at a holiday in last night, but I like to think I have had some good experiences to draw upon and my wife knows more about nutrition than I ever will and helps me out.

Here's my take.

There are 3 prongs to recovery:
  1. Nutrition
  2. Training
  3. Hydration
You have to eat right.  That goes for what you put in your body hours after you work out and hours before you work out.  It's not limited to pre-workout fuel, during workout fuel and recovery fuel.  But those are all important was well.  If you don't have the building blocks in your body, your body cannot repair the damage training does to it.

You need SOMETHING to get going.  I stick with peanut better on a piece of bread for pre-bike rides.  Sticks to the ribs and no bouncing and sloshing of the stomach.  Pre-run I might use a Gel with some water for a long run or some gatorade for a short run.  Pre-swim is usually peanut butter as well.

During the workout I use Push Endurance (MVT Partner) mixed with GU Recovery.  Yes, it's an oxy-moron to use a recovery drink for during training, but it provides me with what I need.  Carbs, potassium, sodium, protein.  For shorter workouts like running or swims I don't use during-training drinks but I'll load up on bike rides and long runs.

Post workout I use Fluid Recovery (Falkee Tri Sponsor) mixed with chocolate milk.  I also load up on bananas and just take it easy in general.

Rest rest rest.  If you are over-training, you will not give your body the chance to truly recover.  Make sure you are getting 7 to 8 hours a night of sleep (do as I say, not as I do).  Take your off days seriously and cut out junk miles.  I'm not a fan of "recovery" runs or ride.  Make them count for something or take the day off.

This is a big one.  I was feeling run down myself until i realized I just was not drinking enough during the day.  I was constantly a few hours away from being dehydrated.  Drink until the pee is a faint yellow.  I think some places recommend 64 ounces a day.  I know I wasn't doing that and still struggle to get there every day.  I'm better about it now and it shows when I still have a little energy at the end of the day to wrestle the rug rats without 5 hour energy or something!
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