Recovery means much more than what you do - it's also about what you don't do.
For example, many runners think foam rolling or taking an ice bath are effective recovery methods. And if you enjoy them, I won't argue! But what you're not doing is equally important:
- Are you using your day off from running to do your own taxes and run 34 errands?
- Did you plan your big (i.e., stressful) family vacation for your post-marathon recovery week?
- Do you stay out late enjoying one or several too many adult beverages?
If the answer is yes, then it almost doesn't matter what you do for your post workout recovery.
Because the addition of stress - whether physical or mental - derails our best recovery efforts. That's why when I was in college, our track coach was very understanding of poor workout splits during mid-terms. You simply can't perform physically and mentally at a high level for very long.
We previously discussed a hierarchy of injury prevention strategies and how some tactics are far more effective than others. The same is true for recovery strategies.
I want you to understand the best, most productive, and effective ways to recover from your hardest workouts.
And I'm thrilled to present you with today's podcast episode with Ms Christie Aschwanden.
Christie is the lead science writer for FiveThirtyEight and a former health columnist for the Washington Post. She's also a finalist for the National Magazine Award and her work has been featured in Discover, Smithsonian, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
A fellow Coloradan like myself, Christie was a high school state champion in the 1,6000m run, a national collegiate cycling champion, and an elite cross-country skier with Team Rossignol.
Her new book is Good to Go: What The Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange Science of Recovery.
She's on the podcast to discuss individual post workout recovery strategies but also the bigger questions:
- How do we know if we're fooling ourselves that something is working (when it isn't)?
- Why isn't it enough to simply ask, "Does this recovery method work?"
- Overall, have we made recovery too complicated?
- How do you prioritize mental recovery?
- If you were to speak to the entire Olympic Team about recovery, what would you say?
This episode is an excerpt of my full conversation with Christie for the Team Strength Running group coaching program.