How to Recover from a Hard Workout
Have you ever done a hard workout and felt like you just couldn't recover in time for your next run? Scientists have found that it could be because of what you are doing AFTER your workout as much as during your workout. Brad Stulberg writes in the Outside article 'Recovery Is All in Your Head' that a meta-analysis titled 'Psychosocial Factors and Sport Injuries: Meta-analyses for Prediction and Prevention' finds that "athletes are most likely to sustain physical injuries during times when psychological and/or social stress is high."
This makes sense because our bodies are recovering and rebuilding from our workouts in the hours after we shower and leave the gym or running trail. Adding stress forces our bodies to choose between dealing with stressful situations or healing and building muscle.
How can endurance athletes increase recovery after a hard workout?
I use activities like taking a nap, meditating and getting a light massage to reduce stress after my hard Sunday runs. A recent Times of San Diego story by Debbie Sklar featured a University of California San Diego School of Medicine study that found an participating in an Ayurvedic routine including meditation, yoga, vegetable-based diet and massage "experienced measurable decreases in a set of blood-based metabolites associated with inflammation, cardiovascular disease risk and cholesterol regulation."
What do you do to maximize your workout recovery?
Read the 'Psychosocial Factors and Sport Injuries: Meta-analyses for Prediction and Prevention' meta-analysis here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27406221
Read 'Meditation + Yoga + Veggie Diet + Massages = Good For Your Health' in the Times of San Diego here: http://timesofsandiego.com/education/2016/09/09/meditation-yoga-veggie-diet-massages-good-for-your-health/