The Importance of Recovery
If you have a burning passion for increasing your performance, you need to ask yourself a very important question - am I getting the most out of my recovery? Recovery is an extremely important component of endurance sports, especially if you are planning on competing in multiple races throughout the season, and especially if you want to improve and achieve a personal best. Adequate recovery strategies help protect your body from injury and allow your body (and mind) to repair and regenerate. Ultimately, this enables you to become fitter, quicker and stronger. Insufficient recovery will slow you down and wear you out. Therefore, if you can help increase the rate at which your body repairs itself you will be able to train harder, more often, and race faster. In other words, you will build endurance capacity and your ability will improve.
There are some athletes who underestimate the value of recovery, or perhaps are unsure how to enhance it. Appropriate nutrition, rest, sleep, stretching and hydration for your needs should be planned and utilised to help you get the most out of your recovery time. If you are serious about your endurance sport and want to improve your performance potential - nail your recovery and reap the rewards.
Real Rest and Sufficient Sleep
Do you find it difficult to allow yourself time for sufficient rest and sleep? Many endurance athletes are trying so hard to improve their athletic ability that they over-train and under-recover. Your body needs time to repair and regenerate, but how much rest does your body need after a punishing race or training session? Everyone will have slightly different requirements and it will depend on the length of the race, but generally you need at least one to two days of minimal physical activity after a race, ideally including 30 minutes of stretching each day. After a strenuous training session give yourself a day before you perform similar types of exercise (i.e. avoid going for a long run two days in a row).
Sufficient sleep is essential to speed your recovery, but how much slumber is enough? Extending sleep duration to ten hours per night, over five to six weeks, has been found to improve performance and mood in athletes.1However, a more general guideline for adults is to achieve eight to ten hours of regular sleep per night, plus a 30 minute nap between 2-4 pm whilst training to win!2 Not many of us have the luxury of being able to have an afternoon nap, but even resting at night will help. Make sure you get sufficient sleep and quality rest for your needs and help optimise your performance potential.
Optimise your Recovery
Diet and nutrition are important factors to get right in your recovery regime, so if you want to optimise your strategy - look to Endura Sports Nutrition. Protein, carbohydrates, water and electrolytes are all essential nutrients that your muscles require to help repair any damage that your training schedule or racing may cause. The Endura Paleo-Performance Eating Plan is a diet designed for athletes to help maximise performance, lessen muscle soreness and improve recovery. It is highly nutritious and features alkalising greens and anti-inflammatory oils that may help to reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery.
To optimise your nutrition and ensure you are getting sufficient protein, carbs and electrolytes to enhance muscle function and repair, look to . Each serve contains 10.5 g of muscle-repairing whey protein, 60.9 g of glycogen-restoring carbohydrates, along with Meta Mag® magnesium and essential electrolytes to help sustain muscle hydration and function. Endura Optimizer is your ‘one stop shop’, providing essential nutrients to help fuel your recovery on rest days. To make one serve, mix 4 level scoops with 500 mL of water to help support your regenerative processes. Combine Endura Optimizer with the The Endura Paleo-Performance Eating Plan and see for yourself the difference they can make to your recovery.
Perfect your Post-Race Nutrition
You have just had a blinder of a race and you have absolutely nothing left in the tank - so what do you do now? How can you help your body along the road to repair? After a race your body craves carbohydrates and protein, and thirsts for hydrating water and electrolytes. If you can perfect your post-race nutritional strategy, you may be able to significantly decrease your recovery time.
Endura Optimizer. is an ideal post-race recovery formula, providing the essential nutrients your body needs. Hydrolysed whey protein helps to conserve muscle mass, is easy to digest and well absorbed. Rapid and sustained-release carbohydrates such as branched-chain glucose polymers and pure microcrystalline fructose respectively are needed post-exercise to help replenish depleted energy stores. Essential electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride should be consumed with water after a race to help rehydrate tissues and avoid dehydration. All of these important nutrients have been specially balanced within the superb source of metabolic fuel that is Endura Optimizer. To aid your recovery take one serve of Endura Optimizer. (i.e. 4 level scoops with 500 mL of water), within four hours post-race, followed by another serve before bed. Incorporate Endura Optimizer. into your recovery strategy for your next race and help speed your recovery.
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Study Shows Sleep Extension Improves Athletic Performance and Mood. [Online]. 2009 June 8 [cited 2015 May 15]; Available from: URL: http://www.aasmnet.org/articles.aspx?id=1291
- Canadian Sport for Life. Sleep, Recovery, and Human Performance: A Comprehensive Strategy for Long-Term Athlete Development. pg. 17 [Online]. 2011. [cited 2015 May 15]; Available from: URL: http://www.waterpolo.ca/admin/docs/clientuploads/ltad/Sleep_Recovery_ENG.pdf
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