Updated: Jan 19
Last week I did my biggest weekly mileage eveeeer. This included running 110km over Fri, Sat & Sun. My body has bounced back amazingly well. So well that my easy run the following day felt exactly that - easy. And I happily hit the gym too.
It has been remarkable how well my body has adapted to running 100 -110km a week for the past 3 months. I haven’t had a huge amount of muscle soreness nor any real niggles. So how have I managed this? I’ve worked out a recovery and maintenance plan that seems to be working for me.
Get those zzzzzz’s
This is by far and away my top tip. With the extra volume, I try to get 9 hours of sleep a night. When I don’t get the sleep I need, I really notice it in my running performance. I feel sluggish and sick, I struggle to hit my paces and my muscles tend to pull up sore.
Forget the cryotherapy pants.
Forget about forking out for a pair of Nike Zoom Vaporfly Next%.
Just get an hour extra sleep a night. I bet you notice the difference in your recovery and performance.
Food = fuel
When we lived in New York and for the first year of living in Melbourne, I didn’t get my period. Why? I was exercising ALOT and obviously not fueling my body enough. As a result, it started shutting down the non-essential bodily functions, like my reproductive function.
Knowing this, I have made a conscious effort to ensure I eat enough food to fuel my body adequately. This means that despite the increased volume, I haven’t lost any weight. This is an important fact because I know I am likely to lose weight in NZ so I don’t want to go start the trip too lean.
Food is fuel folks. Don’t skimp on it.
Build me up buttercup
We all know how important strength training is to compliment running. The important word here is COMPLIMENT.
Historically, I would run lots of kms and also smash myself in the gym. This meant my legs didn’t recover in time for my next running session. But I would still do the session which would make my legs even more sore. And the cycle would go on and on
This time round I have followed a strength plan through Mile27 which compliments my running. There is hardly a weight in sight and it includes lots of functional movements targeting your glutes and core which translate to running.
Yes, I can tell I’ve done a workout the day before but it doesn’t impact my running. I don’t get DOMS. But I’m still getting the benefit of a perky butt.
Do your physio exercises. They actually work.
My only niggle has been the re occurrence of my old hip injury. It flared up around 8 weeks ago and I immediately took myself off to the physio to get it checked out even though I already knew the diagnosis. My left hip is a lazy bugger. Alot weaker than my right. So when it gets tired, it hurts. I was prescribed exercises and I ACTUALLY DID THEM.
Religiously. Every. Single. Night.
The result – within 4 weeks my left hip was as strong as my right. Problem solved!
Wrong. Problem solved for now. But if I stop doing them, like I have previously, it is going to come back. So I have kept doing them. Every. Single. Night.
Stretching….nah. Rolling. Yes!
Stretching is easy but stretching is boring, which is why I don’t do it. But for some reason I don’t mind rolling so I focus on that because I will actually do it.
My weapon of choice is the spikey ball and the R8 Roll Recovery. I use the spikey ball to get right into my glutes, ITB and my notoriously tight calves. The R8 makes massaging my quads, hammies and ITBs easy as.
I think of rolling as an extension of my physio. I do them after my hip exercises. Every. Single. Night. It literally takes me 15 mins and I generally do it whilst watching trashy reality TV (don’t judge me).
Did I mention how important sleep is?