Each day, after deciding to sign up for a race, we are faced with something to do training wise… run, go swim, bike and then run, or strength train. But what about recovery? Are you incorporating enough recovery into your training plan to really perform well? As far as training goes, recovery is crucial to performance, and luckily one of the most effective tools to use is refueling. Who doesn’t like to eat… and especially after a training session, right? But if you don’t eat well, you won’t perform well, and at the end of the day we all want to perform the best we can on race day.
Your recovery should begin when the workout ends and there are effective strategies that can help optimize your efforts. Recovery nutrition helps replace fluid and electrolytes lost during training, replaces muscle fuel (glycogen) that is used, and also promotes muscle repair and growth.
When and What?
You should begin re-feuling within 30 minutes after your workout and your snack should contain roughly 1/2 your body weight in grams of carbohydrates and around 15-20 grams of protein.
Some good recovery food options are:
• Low-fat chocolate milk
• Fruit and greek yogurt (can mix as a smoothie)
• Apple or banana with nut butter with 1/2 glass low-fat milk
• Trail mix with nuts & dried fruit with an electrolyte drink
• Bagel with nut butter & 1/2 glass low-fat milk
• Granola with greek yogurt and fresh fruit
Throughout the rest of day make sure to follow up with well-balanced meals to continue restoring glycogen levels and promoting muscle and tissue repair.