Whether you have just completed an Ultra or are building big training weeks the following will be of value for you.
If you've taken on the mighty challenge of conquering one of those epic ultras, then recovery becomes a crucial part of your journey. Fear not! We're here to share some top-notch hacks to help you bounce back quicker and stronger.
Why am I banging on about recovery? Well recovery is key, see these quotes from some uber famous endurance runners.
- "Recovery is an essential part of training. It's during the recovery phase that your body adapts and grows stronger." - Shalane Flanagan
- "The human body has limitations; the human spirit is boundless." - Dean Karnazes
- "Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work." - Emil Zatopek
Recovery is as important as the training itself. Take inspiration from these words and give your body the rest it needs to come back even stronger!
1. Snooze to Success
II. Chow Down like a Champ
- The Magic of Sleep: Snoozin' is the ultimate recovery tool. It's free, fabulous, and something we runners adore, apart from the actual running, of course! While you doze, growth hormone gets released, fueling muscle and tissue repair. Plus, it gives your hard-worked brain a much-needed break. So, don't underestimate the power of shut-eye! Want to get more sleep on a jam-packed day? Hit the sack earlier! I'm in bed by 9 pm when training or a race is looming. Not exactly rock and roll, but as vital as the daytime training sessions.
- Fueling for Recovery: Show your body some love. Treat it to a feast and thank it for the Herculean efforts. Indulge in all your favorite foods post-ultra, no holds barred! But then, shift gears and support your body's recovery. Keep it simple, like. Think whole grains, a truckload of fruits and veggies, protein galore, and chug as much water as you can stomach. Protein packed milks and shakes are my go-to for a vitamin-packed, fluid-filled recovery post-ultra food fest.
III. Keep Moving, Keep Groovin'
- The Post-Ultra Shuffle: Ah, the legendary post-ultra shuffle. 24 hours after the race, you go from feeling like a superhuman athlete to hobbling around. The key is to keep on with the shuffle, even if it feels like you're auditioning for a zombie movie. Massage, foam rolling, legs up the wall, or sporting some compression gear can help, but good old hobbling does wonders too, even if you have to go down the stairs on your bum!.
- Keep that blood flow going, flush out those tired muscles.
- Now, listen up—give running a wide berth until you can function like a normal human being without needing a three-hour nap in the morning or an extra 2,000 calories. Instead, walk the pooch, do some hoovering, hit the shops. Then, after a few days, ease into light cross-training like yoga or gentle pilates. Gradually, add in swimming or cycling. Little and often, for the first week or ten days.
IV. Learning from the Journey
- Take a moment to reflect- what worked? What didn't? How was your pacing and nutrition? How about your gear? Did you linger at checkpoints for ages? Check out those splits and ponder how you felt at those points. What got you going (or not)? Can you strengthen that mental fortitude for next time?
You're an absolute champ! ! Taking on those ultra challenges is no easy feat. Remember, recovery is key to your success. Embrace the power of sleep, fuel your body with nutritious goodness, keep on shuffling to get that blood flowing', and learn from your experiences. You've got this, and we're cheering you on every step of the way!
Just for information, the pictures on this page are
Header picture - Jack Oliver - Second winter completion Steve Parr round 2023
Naomi Orme finishing fastest Brit lady age category MDS 2023
Last Picture - Another Chia Charge customer on the MDS, if it's you please email, so I can add your name to this tag ! 🤣