When your body undergoes heavy stress - increasing mileage, upping your workouts, pushing your muscles harder - you are more prone to inflammation. While we all want to train hard, it's important to listen to your body and to understand the difference between that sore feeling we all secretly love and pain/lingering discomfort - some tell tale signs are if the area is swollen, red and/or painful to the touch.
After an intense training session and/or a race it is vital to give your body time to recuperate and repair. Here are a few things I do to support my body's healing process:
Hydrate - hydration is key! It enhances your body's overall performance and greatly reduces recovery time.
Eat well and incorporate anti-inflammatory foods - it is important to flood your body with nutrient dense foods, especially after an intense workout and/or after a race. I know the post race pizza and donuts sound amazing but you are not doing your body any good in refueling solely with empty calories. We are not saying you shouldn't treat yourself, just make sure you are also including some good nutrition.
Some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods/snacks include:
chia seeds, turmeric, ginger and beets.
Compression during and after - I love to wear compression gear during hard workouts and races. Compression (and ICE) is an integral part of my recovery regimen. It improves circulation and blood flow which improves performance and expedites recovery.
Foam rolling - I am all about foam rolling and incorporate it in my pre and post run routine to increase mobility and speed up recovery.
Sleep - I plan our sleep just like I plan my workouts. Adequate sleep is imperative when it comes to the body's ability to properly recover.