The Importance of Recovery

Ouch. Sometimes I forget about the importance of a consistent recovery routine. That temporary amnesia usually manifests itself with a familiar and nagging pain.

You see, I've had shin splints for a number of years. For the past year or so, I've been especially cautious about treating them, after a scare in early 2013 when I was diagnosed with early stage stress fractures -- in both shins. More on that another time, but suffice to say, after a significant setback, I managed to get back into running and participate in some late-season races.

Back to 2014. Over the last couple of weeks, my coach, Roger, has thrown speed training into my run program as I slowly wrap up the base-building winter session.

Last week, during that solitary day of warm weather, I dove right in, doing five 400 metre repeats on a quiet loop near Summerhill. (As an aside, I must offer kudos and recognition to fellow Ignition fitness ambassador and duathlete Jesse Bauer, as I briefly hit speeds of 3:30/km, a pace which he can sustain for an entire half marathon!) I arrived home and somehow neglected most elements of my usual recovery routine. Aside from my Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator shake (with extra glutamine), I didn’t ice my shins, didn’t have an anti-inflammatory recovery meal and forgot to put on compression socks for bed. And I paid for it... I was sore off and on for the next several days.

Lesson learned. Going forward, when I do a tough run like that, I know I my recovery plan has to be as structured as my workout plan. Are my ice packs ready? Do I have a healthy recovery meal recipe handy? How long will it take to cook? Do I have time to use my foam roller? Are my compression socks out where I can see them?

Consistency is the key to success, both in terms of training and recovery. If I consistently use recovery techniques, I can train consistently, which leads to success. A simple formula? I'll keep you posted. What do you do to rest and recover between your workouts?