In the post training period the body will try to reverse the impact of stress induced by training. In an effort to cope better with future training the body will attempt reset the level of homeostasis higher than before. This adaptation is what improves our ability to perform during competition. It makes us fitter and stronger.
In order to get the most benefit, we want the body to recover fully from one workout before we train again.
The quicker we recover, the more we can get out of our training and the more progress we make.
There are processes that occur during training which lead to a reduction in function of the muscles. We can promote certain mechanisms through recovery techniques which allow us to get back to a fresh, ready to train state. I will discuss some of these mechanisms and what techniques have been shown to successfully promote them. In doing so it will allow you to construct your own recovery strategy to suit your needs. Every athlete is different in terms of what works so it is important to understand why to do things. This allows you to make an effective strategy to allow you as an individual to get the most from your training.
Step 1: Take care of your nutrition
1.1 Protein is essential for the repair of cells that have been damaged during intense training. The repair of these cells makes our muscles bigger and stronger. Most of us could benefit from increasing our intake of lean protein. Serious athletes should consult a qualified dietician to ensure they consume adequate protein within their diet.
1.2 carbohydrate: When we train at high intensity we rapidly deplete glycogen stored in the muscle. This is the fuel we need to perform. Consume quality carbohydrate as soon as possible after training. During the post workout period we make better use of carbohydrate as our muscles want to replace glycogen. Glucose is absorbed easier during this period, preventing it being stored as fat. The amount needed depends largely on duration and intensity of the training.
1.3 Vitamins and minerals: They are essential for the proper functioning of our cells and muscles. It is vital that we eat a balanced healthy diet with healthy fats and supplement with a good multivitamin. This ensures that the greater needs of repairing cells are met, allowing them to restore themselves fully.
1.4 Hydration is extremely important. When we sweat we lose water. Water is the main constituent of blood; when hydration is poor we have a reduced blood volume. Blood volume is a key factor in determining aerobic capacity and performance. Maintaining good hydration ensures our cardiovascular system is functioning at maximum capacity. As our body is made mostly of water, good hydration will also contribute to the repair and growth of cells. Monitor urine to ensure a light lemonade colour is maintained.