It’s nearly fun run time! And that means it’s absolutely time to learn about fun run recovery.
The CJD Fun Run month is finally here and we’re ready for the awesome event on October 27.
Like so many of you we’ve been putting in the training, get ready for the run. Preparation for a fun run is one of the most important things you can do to make sure it’s what you want – Fun, Fast or both. With only a couple of weeks to go we now turn our minds to recovery.
Here’s our tips on fun run recovery, including some of the science, and some of the fads.
Tip 1: Don’t Ice
*Controversy Alert*. For a fun run recovery, don’t ice. Well, you can ice, if you really want to. If you’ve always been an icer, and you like the feel of icing, then go right ahead.
The research does not support icing for recovery, in fact, there’s a couple of studies that have shown that icing actually is harmful for recovery. The reason being, icing is used to limit inflammation, however inflammation post exercise is really good, in appropriate doses. Inflammation is the starting point for healing, and every time we exercise we put small micro tears into tissues which triggers the growth of new, stronger and better tissues.
Icing has been shown to reduce DOM’S (delayed onsent muscle soreness) post an increased bout of physical exertion. Expect this to equate to a small drop off in day after discomfort, however muscle strength and endurance post event will likely be the same or slightly less if you ice vs. if you didn’t ice.
It’s thought, like so many aspects of fun run recovery, that people who do consistently ice, and feel that it works for them are getting a good old dose of the placebo effect. Not to be ignored, the placebo affect is real! If you feel a bit better from doing something, that’s still feeling a bit better.
Tip 2: Only Good Vibrations
Tissue vibration is being increasingly linked with injury. These vibrations are the regular, small, shaking like movements that can occurr within tissues, paritcularly muscles and bones.
To aid fun run recovery you can reduce the amount of vibrations through your muscles by using compression when and after you run. These are the tight tights, and the tight long compression socks from companies such as 2XU.
Another method of reducing tissue vibrations is to wear the right shoes, but you’ve already got your Perfect Fit now haven’t you? With not much time left before the race day, it’s probably best to stick with what you have.
Tip 3: Sleep
The single most important aspect of fun run recovery, whether it be from a big fun run, a hard training session, or too much stress at work and home is sleep.
Sleep is where the body enters the fix it mode. The small tears and wear that goes into your muscles, tendons and bones are repaired stronger and better during a solid nights sleep. This is the type of sleep that’s long, deep and uninterrupted. There are many different techniques that can aid you getting a solid nights rest and recovery, which go outside the scope of a podiatrists practice.
Just know this.
Sleep is the single most important thing for you when it comes to fun run recovery (well, any type of recovery).
Tip 4: Enjoy It
After finishing a fun run your brain will reward you with a healthy dose of feel good endorphins. Lean into this, treasure it, appreciate the positive running, walking or exercise high we get when we do something good for ourselves.
Spend the post run Sunday sharing stories of you run with others, socialise, have some fuel and limit the alcohol (in small studies it’s shown to be harmful for men for recovery although maybe slightly beneficial for women). In saying that, if you wan’t to keep running regularly the Dutch have found that regular (not excessive) alcohol consumption is linked with ongoing regular running.
At PridePlus Health we’re really looking forward to the CJD Fun Run. If you need any pre race help, some last minute strapping plans, some skin management to reduce blisters by treating corns and callus book on in with us here.
If you’re intrigued by recovery then I cannot recommend this book any more highly. It’s called Good To Go: How To Eat, Sleep and Rest Like A Champion. By Christie Aschwanden.