I LOVE LOVE LOVE recovering from workouts. It's a beautiful thing to push the body and then get stronger after the hard work is done. But as much as I love a shower and my post-workout smoothie + meal, I also love watching my body get stronger after workouts. Sure, I can't always physically feel or see my body getting more powerful, stronger or faster but workout after workout, I know it is happening. There is nothing worse than feeling sore after a workout and not being able to give 100% to the next workout. There is nothing wrong with the fitness enthusiast exercising for the caloric burn but in my opinion, your workout will become boring if you do the same thing every day just to burn calories.
Tip: if you do the same thing, the body will become very efficient. Even if you lose weight at the beginning, the body will burn less calories for the same workout unless you change up your activity routine. If you want to increase your calorie burn without focusing on how many calories you are burning in a given workout, focus on strength training, in addition to cardio, to increase muscle mass as you strengthen the heart, in order to burn more calories at rest.
Regardless if you compete in athletic events or just exercise for fun, I believe that every workout should have a purpose. Even if the purpose every now and then is to just get to the gym and do something to de-stress, your workouts should be of quality in order to create a stronger and healthier body.
Part of my recovery routine involves rolling on the tennis ball (my butt), stretching (primarily my psoas, hamstrings and lower back), icing and recovery protein (either yogurt, whey protein or skim milk). However, I have a new addition to my recovery routine...
I'm sure many people have experienced the wonderful relationship with the foam roller...it makes you cry and then smile.
Our good friends Stephanie and Sean have a company called Recover better
You can't help but love their philosophy...
YOU CAN GET FASTER BY RECOVERING BETTER
RecoverBetter.com features performance recovery and self-therapy products for triathletes, runners, cyclists, and fitness enthusiasts. These products are designed specifically to help athletes achieve their full potential by enhancing and speeding up the recovery process.
It was Karel's boss, Jeff, who told us about the GRID and that we HAD to get it.
I'm so glad we listened.
Not only is it affordable ($40!!!) but it is small and easy to use.
The Grid represents a revolutionary advancement over traditional foam roller technology. It won't break, lose its shape or require costly replacement as a result of day-to-day use. The GRID is green and uses less foam than the ordinary foam roller. It is designed to help you achieve the benefits that are associated with Myofascial Release Therapy and related massages. It is also great for core workouts!
The GRID matrix includes low & flat foam (feels like the forearm or palm), high & firm foam (feels like the finger tips) and medium & tubular foam which feels like the fingers and thumb.
Each GRID comes with a fold-out guide to great exercises and techniques.
Over the years, I find myself always on the verge of injury. I think that is normal for most athletes. However, avoiding injury is key. It's knowing when to hold back, when to push and most of all, how to design an effective and quality training plan to prevent overtraining and overuse injuries.
Sure, it is hard to know your limits when you are training for an event, especially when you are constantly teaching yourself to be mentally strong throughout workouts. I find that as you improve your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds (which comes with proper periodization of workouts/training), it is easier to push a bit harder than in seasons/years/months past.
But, although you may be feeling stronger and faster than ever before, your body is going to need a little extra TLC. It is silly to say to yourself "This year I'm always sore and hurting but last year I was able to recover so quickly from workouts!"
As your body becomes more conditioned with exercise/training, it is SO important that you focus on the now rather than the past.
Your body goes throughout a lot in order to accept the demands of training. Be kind to your ONE body and be sure to focus on your recovery after workouts.
And most of all...be sure you are getting a restful night of sleep on most days of the week.