Fatigue is a natural result of a race, hard session and or load; it is the body’s way of communicating that it needs rest. Choosing to ignore this message will only lead to overtraining, illness and or injury.
What can you do to improve your recovery time?
Warm-up, recovery starts before a race or hard session.
Refuel during training and racing.
Cool downs, this help your body to return to its pre-exercise state and kick starts the recovery and adaptation phase.
This should on the top of the list after finishing the race or session, consume a good mixture of carbohydrates and proteins post activity meal or drink within 30 - 45 minutes of completing a workout or race. When you are done with a race or workout is when your body replenishes the carbohydrates stores the fastest getting your body ready for the next workout, the longer you wait the slower restock.
A delay of carbohydrate consumption by two hours after exercise can lead up to 50% lower rates of glycogen synthesis.
Reference: Journal of Sports Science & medicine
A shower or bath.
Sleep! – It is the best form of recovery, a nap after the effort as well as a good night’s sleep.
Ensure that the key components above are executed and then engage in light activity several hours after a race or hard session that will slightly increase heart rate, increase up blow flow which will speed up the inflow of nutrients, reducing soreness as well lowering blood pressure. Or just be lazy for a few hours, stay off your feet.
Recovery enables your body to adapt to the stresses being placed on it through training and racing, by enabling the body to replenish energy stores and repair or replace damaged tissue. Depending on duration and intensity the time needed for muscles to fully recover is between 24 to 48 hours.
Look for good indicator of recovery – positive attitude, feelings of health, motivation to train, high quality sleep, normal resting and training heart rates and balanced emotions.