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Post-Exercise Recovery Ideas

As we increase the duration of our workouts, recovery becomes more important.  If you are under 35 and running for 3 miles or less, a glass of water after a workout is just fine.  For the rest of us, we need to consider other options.  Depending on the duration of our workout, we will need to recover in different ways ranging from recovery drinks to ice baths.

Ice baths can be a bit aggravating from going to the store to buy the ice to jumping into the tub full of ice.  On really tough days or at the end of tough weeks, I will take an ice bath after a 20+ mile run.

I don’t like to put the ice in until after I am in the tub full of cold water.  It is a bit uncomfortable but it does feel good after you are done.  I also like to have ice packs handy for my knees and calves on tough days.  I use anything I can to hold the ice packs in place.  They make custom straps with Velcro and foam to hold ice to any part of your body.

I use Ace bandages, old socks and saran wrap to hold the ice packs in place.  Use your imagination; just try to keep the ice pack tight.

I usually have a recovery drink after most hard runs.  Cytomax powder was my favorite for years.  Lately Clif and GU jumped into the fray with excellent products.  I really like the Clif and GU products with Cytomax right behind.

I always have the drink before I take a shower.  If you wait until after you shower, you will get all sweaty again.  I don’t notice any gain from the recovery drinks, I just notice the added pain from not having a recovery drink.

Massages are good but the cost can add up if you get one every week.  I use a foam roller on my calves and the sides of my legs but I don’t like to sit still long enough to use the roller because you can’t do anything else while using it.  Home electro stim machines are available for around $100 now.  They work really well to aid in recovery.  The home machines are not really strong enough to hit the big muscles but they work great on the smaller supporting muscles.

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