At 4:30 am the alarm goes off and I’m up and out of bed. Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to the early wake-up time, and I get up easily and get out for my run. Sleep is at a premium with such an early wake up time, if I’m not in bed by 8:30pm then I’m definitely not getting that 8-hours of sleep.
As the miles stack up during intense training and peak weeks I begin to the feel the effects of the early wake-ups. Especially if I stay up later than I should (hello, Olympics), the time changes or one of the kids wakes during the night. But I’ve found a few ways to try and maximize recovery despite my early AM risings.
At the end of the day the best way for me to wind down is to retreat to the bedroom and read in bed for a bit, no screens, just a good old book. I also use Badger Balm’s Sleep Balm which is scented with lavender, it doesn’t make you sleepy, but applying it to my temples and sinus area signals to my body that it is time to sleep and helps me relax even more before I shut off the lights and close my eyes.
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For the most part my alarm goes off every morning at 4:30am, unless there are hard workouts or a long run planned. I’ve found that after a tough workout, instead of fighting my body to get up and get out for my recovery run in the morning, it is best to sleep in (usually ’till 6 or 7) and find a way to fit the run in on the treadmill later in the day or get out after my husband gets home. Giving myself extra sleep after that hard effort is a great way to maximize recovery.
I have a pair of CW-X Compression tights that I’ve owned for almost 10 years and they still are going strong-probably the best $99 I’ve ever spent. In the past I’ve worn them only after tough races, but lately I’ve been wearing them to bed after all my hard effort runs to try to increase blood flow and maximize recovery while sleeping.
Epsom Salt Baths
After really hard effort long runs I like to hop in a nice hot bath with epsom salt to help increase blood flow to the muscles, plus it just feels good. I toss in some Epsom salt, because even though there aren’t really any studies to prove its benefits, it can’t hurt, plus if you get the scented kind it sells like lavender.
Hydrate with Recovery Mix
Getting nutrients and fluid into the body after a hard effort run is key. Since I run early in the morning, most of my runs are followed up shortly with a big breakfast. But occasionally if I run in the late afternoon or later in the morning on the weekends I try to drink a recovery mix within 15-20 minutes of finishing my run. I like Vega Sport Recovery Mix and have recently been mixing a scoop Vital Whey Protein with a scoop of GU Hydration Mix.
What recovery tricks or tools do you use to keep your body healthy and strong?
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