Monday I took off (and worked 10 hrs straight... fun stuff)
Tuesday I ran 3 miles easy.
Otherwise, here's a look into how I've been recovering:
Ice baths: Though I hate them, they've been a critical element to my recovery over the past year. I know, doesn't that sound awful? It really is... I hate them, but I do it anyways because I find they're really effective. I say, to each their own. But trust me, I would not be torturing myself with cold water if it weren't helping me and keeping me injury free.
Foam rolling and stretching: Because naturally my muscles are still very tight and sore!
Nutrition: My goal post-race was to get right back on track immediately after the race. I took Saturday to eat whatever I wanted, then Sunday went right back to the norm. One critical nutritional element in my recovery has been a tart cherry smoothie.
8oz soy or almond milk (the more vanilla the better!)
1/2 frozen banana
2 tbsp tart cherry concentrate
1 serving choice of protein powder
1/4 c. frozen cherries
Blend until smooth. If you're really ambitious, I dare you to add a handful of spinach!!
Why Tart Cherries?
Increasing evidence is showing that tart cherries with their high antioxidant content may play a role in reduction of inflammation post-exercise and reduce recovery time. Other fruits with high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory effects include: raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Fruit for the win!!
So there you have it. You don't need a magical supplement or protein powder to aid your muscles in faster recovery. Instead, choose to incorporate more tart cherries into your diet before and after a big race or workout. Enjoy a refreshing post-workout smoothie that provides a healthy dose of simple carbohydrate to refuel your glycogen stores quickly and some protein to rebuild muscle.
On another note, my new trail shoes happened to come in yesterday and just so happen to conveniently match my Holiday Lake finisher's shirt! Guess that means it's time to get to work. Next goal: zeroing in on more trail running and learning how to conquer the climbs!
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and endurance athlete residing in southwest Virginia alongside her husband and dog. Through this blog she aims to share favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
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