We all know that recovery is important. You have to stress, recover, and repeat to get fit & fast during a training cycle. But I always feel like people talk about recovery as if it’s some kind of sophisticated act of willing your muscles to feel relatively human again. When, in reality, it’s painful, not all that pretty, and usually involves some kind of teeth-baring agony if you’re really working hard. So, I’ve listed several fancy (and not so fancy) recovery methods and their literal “holy shit why does that hurt so much” translations for the long distance runner.
- Compression socks –> because squeezing both your muscles and your fat into socks that are 3-4x smaller than they should be feels really, really good (and we don’t know why but it kind of makes us feel badass)
- Foam rollin’ –> because why not roll around on the floor like a sloth for entirely way too long just because it hurts?
- Roll recovery –> basically, spring-loaded roller blade wheels with handles that inflict an inordinate amount of pain on your tender muscles. AKA meat/muscle tenderizer (and you’re too lazy and/or tired to roll around on the floor anyway)
- Legs up the wall –> Reverse that blood flow! And because that awkward bum-shaking shimmy that you do to get closer to said wall is actually hilarious after a 20 miler.
- Chocolate –> antioxidants, yo. (And because some smartass person once said: “Chocolate comes from cocoa, which comes from a tree. That makes it a plant. So, basically chocolate is a vegetable” …and I believe them 173.9%.)
- Beer –> Liquid carb-loading, because you probably already ate a bowl of pasta or an entire pizza today. Plus, it’s practically the nectar of the gods.
- Ice bath –> Because going to the edge of frostbite and back is worth it, damn it! If you can’t feel your crotch, you’re doing it right.
- Recovery boots –> To reach the point at which you discover that, in fact, your sciatic nerve does exist! And shit, you probably could take a blood pressure test from your buttocks. Also, because you’ve always wondered what it would be like to have elephantiasis of the legs.
- Active Release Technique (ART) –> Because you know you have “soft tissue” in there …. somewhere.
- Dry needling and/or acupuncture –> Your legs already hurt so what kind of damage could a bajillion tiny little needles do anyway?! Also, you do this because you get some sort of sick satisfaction of seeing your nerves pulsate and you’re really not sure why.
- Deep tissue massage –> Because you’re one badass chick/dude and a ‘relaxation’ massage with aromatherapy just won’t do. You value a massage therapist like a normal person values his/her best friend foreverrrrr.
- Trigger Point Massage Ball –> You seriously never thought you’d ever willingly sit on top of a lacrosse ball or tennis ball and call it ‘magic’. You buy the fancy ball anyway.
- The Stick –> You might as well use your grandmother’s old wooden rolling pin and call it a day. see also: meet tenderizer slash foam roller slash Roll Recovery.
- Your Couch –> Your most prized possession: you know, before, during, or after you commit to #1-13. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, really. See alternate: the floor, because it’s never felt so comfortable as it does after a 20 miler in 90 degrees.
- Chiropractic adjustment –> You’re a sick individual and you love hearing that snap, crackle, and pop. And you’re supposedly ‘aligned’ because of it.
Your ability to recover quickly is directly correlated to your willingness to commit to 1 or 15 of these methods, which usually results in looking like some type of fool to the general population. But you never said you were normal anyway.
What’s your favorite recovery method? And what kind of love/hate relationship do you have with it?