Hi ShokzSquad! Dan Cox here, one of AfterShokz’ Global Ambassadors, to share that I conquered the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon in 2:55:38. More importantly, I beat my brother by 4 minutes and 20 seconds! We were neck and neck from the swim through the first 3K of the run, but I finally broke free and got my redemption. Now it’s time for some intensive recovery. Smart recovery is crucial because I like to stay active with multiple races on my calendar, so it helps me get back to training quickly and responsibly. I have three different approaches to recovery: stretching, nutrition, and external stimuli.
Stretching is a must after each workout, but especially hard ones – and post-race is no different. I dedicate about 10-15 minutes immediately after a race to stretch out all of the areas that were just worked. The next day, I’ll stretch again to evaluate how my body is feeling, the areas I need to focus on, and loosen up as much as possible. Foam rolling is also key in my recovery. I do this slowly so I can target tight spots and knots, sitting on them for a minimum of 30 seconds to release the pressure. If I have some very tight areas, I will also "floss" using a voodoo band, which targets compression in a small area to help push or “floss” out any built-up tightness. Yes, it sounds like a lot of steps, but trust me, your body will thank you!
Nutrition is just as important as stretching post-race – you need to fuel your recovery with the right foods. Leading up to race day, I find that if I’ve eaten a more balanced and micronutrient dense diet, I recover faster. During workouts and races, I supplement my diet with Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) and electrolytes (tabs or coconut water), which helps me maintain optimal performance levels. And post-race, I try to consume micronutrient dense foods to get the most out of my calories (even though a huge burger always sounds so good). If I’ve really depleted myself, sometimes I’ll visit an IV Hydration center to instantly be replenished.
To take your recovery a step further, you can also look at ways to change your external environment with hot or cold therapies. While I tend to find cold (ice baths or cryotherapy) feels incredible post-race, some studies show the cold reduces pain but may delay your body’s natural recovery process; therefore I tend to use these sparingly. Heat, on the other hand, is something I have been trying to incorporate more often. Although it’s not pleasant to jump into a sauna right after an intense workout or race, heat can speed up recovery, and keep you from getting tight. One of my favourite things to do is go from hot to cold – I’ll do about 15 minutes in the sauna then jump into an ice cold shower. It feels amazing.
Those are a few of the ways I recommend getting back to normal after a hard workout or race. What do you do to recover and get your body back on track? Tag AfterShokz with your recovery secrets on their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.