Whether you’re training for your 50th marathon or your first 5K, one aspect runners tend to neglect is rest. It almost seems taboo in the running world, but it's an important part of any training plan. Read on to learn more about running recovery in Kansas City by F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic.
For many, rest days are viewed as a day that will slow down your running and cause you to lose all the fitness you’ve gained so far. However, one day of rest does not affect fitness level; it takes at least two weeks of non-activity to notice a detriment to fitness. In fact, not utilizing rest days can cause more harm to your training than skipping a day of running.
Many injuries in runners are due to overuse and not allowing muscles to recover from hard workouts, which may result in taking many weeks off from your training program to heal.
When do I need a rest day for running recovery in Kansas City?
The body has a way of letting us know what it needs, if we listen. Signs your body is craving a rest day can manifest in many different ways for different people. Common signs include:
- a lack of sleep or inability to sleep
- sleeping more than usual
- feeling fatigued despite adequate sleep
- unintended weight changes
- having bad workouts
- irritability or other mood changes
- muscle aches/soreness out of proportion to your workouts.
If you experience any of these symptoms, especially a combination of any of the above, it could be a sign that your body is being overtaxed. Taking a day or two off will allow your body—and your mind—to rebuild its energy stores and repair muscles, therefore improving your remaining workouts.
The importance of running recovery in Kansas City
When training hard, you are pushing the body to its limits, causing fuel stores to deplete and even causing micro-tears in the muscles. During a recovery period, your body replenishes the lost nutrients and repairs the damaged tissue, making you stronger and better adapted to the stresses you continually impose on your body. These adaptations occur during your recovery.
Optimizing your recovery period will optimize your training.
Keep in mind, the recovery process starts immediately after a run. It’s important to rehydrate and refuel within 30 to 60 minutes following a run, as your body is most primed to take in nutrients and rebuild muscle at this time. Food and drink high in carbohydrates and protein will help in your recovery.
Keeping muscles warm by changing into dry clothes, dynamic stretching, and foam rolling are other good methods to aid in your post-run recovery.
Running recovery after a race
If you’ve completed your goal, race recovery is still important before returning to your regular running routine in Kansas City. A good rule of thumb is to rest for the number of days as the distance you’ve just raced. This does not mean you should do absolutely nothing, but you should take it easy on any runs during that period. You can also use that time for cross training and active recovery.
Most importantly, listen to your body. Let it dictate when you are ready to run at your normal volume and intensity. Don’t rush back into training, especially if you are not looking at another target race. Use this time for some much needed—and much earned—rest and relaxation.
Want more tips on running recovery in Kansas City?
F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic’s physical therapists are experts in the human body. We can help you with your aches and pains and get you back to the speed of life before you know it. Let us know what questions you have about running recovery in Kansas City by contacting our doctors or scheduling an appointment today.