Saturday, January 22, 2011

Three types of recovery

Any new athlete will hear a lot about the difference between "active" recovery and passive, or rest-based recovery.

The week after my (fourth) Half Ironman, I certainly got a bit of both: some light cycling and running, plenty of day to day activity like wandering and hydrosliding, but also plenty of pure and simple R.E.S.T. TV watching, reading like a fiend, and a fair bit of race-recappage!

So, you'd think I had my recovery bases covered? And that I'd be raring to go when I got back into full training this week. Right?

Not quite.

For all my focus on combining active and passive recovery, I almost completely neglected one entire part of recovery: I'm going to call it "focussed" recovery, but please, please feel free to give me your own word. I'm talking about massage, compression gear, yoga, ice baths, foam rolling, stretching. You know what I mean.

It's not that I did nothing. I had a massage in Hamilton on Friday, 6 days post-race. I might have worn skins once, but it was SO hot, and so great to be roaming around in shorts. As I mentioned, thanks to my stupid inner thigh wound, I couldn't wear my quad sleeves- but I did try. A few half assed minutes stretching in front of the TV. I even spent a few minutes using Phil's evil trigger point toys (something I have now go Phil also referring to as "hurties").

But with NO work and 4.5 hours of training, I think I should have been doing a bit more- especially since I was recovering hard so we can get back up for the New Plymouth Half in 3 weeks' time. The return to training was harder on my legs than I expected, and I feel like I could have prevented that, to some extent, by being a bit more focussed on my recovery. Perhaps a couple of full trigger point therapy sessions (they're about 15 mins with a DVD). A couple of morning yoga sessions. More deliberate stretching.

Next time, I'll make sure I combine all three types of recovery!


Vaala ◪ said...

I am so bad at recovery...I find it almost impossible to sit still. Keep meaning to do more yoga but it just never happens and I totally agree about the hot weather and skins...I avoid them like the plague (I'm so much better in winter).

Westy said...

More 'Assisted recovery' Kate