News Letter Autumn 2011

Hello and welcome to the Autumn edition of my Newsletter :-)

It’s usually about this time of the year when I remind everyone about the importance of Active Recovery in helping you survive [and enjoy!] the last few months of race season.

There are two basic modes of Recovery, these being Passive and Active.

 Passive Recovery means allow your body to repair itself simply by letting it rest. The most obvious forms of Passive Recovery are sleep and being a couch-potato!

Passive Recovery can be quite a slow process depending on the amount of damage that you’ve inflicted on your various body-systems – muscular, metabolic, hormonal and neural/mental. Never under-estimate how long this can take and be aware that under-recovery is accumulative and will affect each system in various ways, but ultimately ending in complete breakdown.

 Active Recovery involves undertaking various activities to help the body to recover, in other words doing more than simply resting and sleeping.

Active Recovery is important because it’s one way to speed-up the recovery process. This is very relevant to anyone doing multi-sport because there is barely enough time to train for the various disciplines, let alone take time-off for Recovery, in fact this is the main reason why most Triathletes become injured.

The term “Over Training” is very misleading and nowadays Coaches more accurately use the phrase, “Under Recovered”.

What’s important about undertaking activity to promote Recovery is that it must be restricted to an intensity that will NOT induce a training effect, typically this means keeping your HR below 50-60% of HR(max). In short, if you break into a sweat, you are working too hard.

It also means reducing levels of physical impact & shock, avoiding excessive production of adrenaline / other stress hormones and trying to reduce mental stress.

Please note that jogging is not a good form of Active Recovery; this is because of the amount of shock & impact transmitted into the tibia & ankle, knee & hip joints. As an alternative, try using the [gym] Cross-Trainer, swimming, light spinning/turbo-trainer or Aqua-running.

Active Recovery also includes undertaking optimal nutrition…… drinking beer to celebrate your race result is not a good way to promote recovery!!!!

Low intensity activity can help promote recovery because it increases blood flow to & from the muscles, thereby delivering more nutrients, water & hormones etc, whilst flushing out the bi-products of hard-exercise.

Other forms of Active Recovery also include: 

  • Sports Massage 
  • Foam Roller, 
  • Stretching & Flexibility, 
  • Hot/Cold Therapies, 
  • Compression Clothing,
  • Relaxation/Meditation Techniques,
  • Realignment through Core-Stability Training,
  • Rehydration & Refuelling,
  • Refocusing through post-race debriefing/analysis.

You are probably thinking that there's nothing new about all this stuff, but the question is, which techniques are you currently adopting/employing?

The best route to maximising your recovery is to follow a Recovery Plan.

This is a timetable or tick-list of activities that should be followed post-race to ensure you are doing the right thing at the right time.

Simply write a list of activities with a timeline starting the moment you cross the finish-line. The first few items should include:

  • Keep walking for 5 minutes or until HR drops below 100bpm, whichever the latter.
  • Consume a good Recovery Drink within the first 12-15 minutes post finish.
  • Post-race massage/rub-down
  • Stretch.
  • Submerge legs in cold water (bucket/lake/sea)
  • Etc….

Why not put together a Recovery Plan for yourself and try it out after your next race or big training session.

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Happy racing!


Mob: 07545 – 115562