Posts Tagged ‘running recovery’

Napping!!!

April 20, 2011

Napping. Yes what we’re talking about is that brief time period we have when we lie down during the course of our day to recharge our body’s batteries. What?!?!?! You mean you don’t NAP? Maybe you should.

We are told that it is best to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. But the reality is that most of us live very busy lives. It is more likely that we are getting 6 to 7 hours of sleep and maybe even less. The average sleep duration is now almost 2 hours shorter per night than it was 50 years ago. Although this may not seem like a significant difference when we continually sleep this way we’re actually causing a “sleep debt”. Which can then show up as poor physical health, increased stress and emotional instability. Sleeping less has been linked to increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular problems.

Benefits of napping include:

  • Relaxation
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Increased alertness
  • Improved mood
  • Improved performance, including quicker reaction time, better memory, less confusion, and fewer accidents and mistakes

So how long should you nap? And is there an ideal time of day to do this?

Naps should be kept short. 15 to 30 minutes is optimal. Napping longer does have its benefits but you can also risk disrupting your sleep later in the evening. As far as what time of day, many studies have been completed and there are many variables to be considered. But typically after lunch our bodies go through what is known as a “post-lunch dip” in wakefulness. This is a time when sleep propensity is at its highest. So if you can the ideal time would be an hour and a half to two hours after lunch. This is the time that you can recharge your batteries in order to end your day with a flourish of energy.

Truth be told due to the hours I sometimes work. I’ve been known to sneak out to my truck even at a late morning hour and grab 15 minutes in order to refresh. So when the need hits don’t fear the nap. Embrace it! It’ll do your body good!

For more Health and Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

www.longevitypt.com

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Overtraining – Is This You?

April 5, 2011

How many times a week do you workout? Notice that I said times not days. If you’re doing a class in one part of your day and then running for a period of time or lifting weights during another part of your day then you’re working out more than once in that day. Count these, not the days. How many days a week do you take off?

How do you feel when you wake up the morning after a workout? Are you still tired? Have you become a little more irritable? Are your legs feeling heavy when you’re going for your next run or workout? If any of this sounds familiar you may be suffering from overtraining.

In a very detailed paper published by the School of Physiotherapy at Curtin University, they define over training as – “an imbalance between training/competition versus recovery. Alternatively stated, it is too much training or competition combined with too little time for regeneration.” They list symptoms among others as “waking unrefreshed, loss of competitive drive, injury, muscle soreness and joint pain.”

Butler Universities Adrian Shepard goes a little further and lists other symptoms as

  • Decrease in performance
  • Increase in resting heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased muscle fatigue, disturbed sleep patterns
  • Depression, irritability, apathy and low self-esteem

Dr William Kraus a cardiologist at Duke University who studies exercise adds that “you just feel bad. The spark is gone.”

Dr Steven Keteyian, director of preventative cardiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit says ‘there’s another trap, athletes are obsessed and gullible. They will do anything they can to improve their performance and they don’t know when to stop.”

As many of my clients have heard from me, the real work happens after the training ends. It begins with the recovery process. When the body has a chance to rejuvenate itself and prepare for the next load that is about to be delivered. If your body does not get this time to rest then you will continue to tear it down and it will NOT have a chance to increase its condition, and you can risk injury.

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

www.longevitypt.com

Compression for Increased Running Performance

October 12, 2010

There never seems to be an end to the “latest and greatest”.

Recently compression clothing have been getting some attention in endurance events. Certainly compression stockings have been used to help circulation in medical environments for a long time. In fact graduated compression stockings were initially designed in a clinical environment to increase blood flow. So wouldn’t it make sense that athletes could also use this technology to their advantage?

Sports apparel companies market a variety of compression clothing towards athletes touting a number of performance and recovery benefits.

Could this assist athletes in performance and recovery? Is this real or just a matter of perception? Participants involved in compression studies expressed feelings of support when running.

 

So what does the research say?

In an article written in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. The researchers concluded that data suggests that wearing compression garments in the recovery from exercise may alter the inflammatory response to damage and accelerate the process inside of the muscle.

And what about different grades of compression?

Until recently no studies were done on whether a heavier grade of compression was more beneficial than a lighter grade. In an article published by the Journal of Sports Sciences this past year researchers applied 3 different grades of compression on 15 endurance athletes. Rates of perceived exertion, muscle soreness and time to exhaustion were unaffected by the various grades. Overall there was NO difference in performance.

I’m not sure about you, but when I run I don’t like clothing that feels tight up against my skin. If I were to try these garments out I would try a lower grade one first and if I didn’t get the desired response I would try them again increasing the grade of compression.

So what about you? Have you tried these garments? What did you think? Have you tried any other of the “latest and greatest” products that are on the market? What has been your experience?

For more Health and Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

www.Longevitypt.com

Stretching…..Do You???

August 15, 2009

This week I had a conversation with a fellow that I have been training for several years. In the past year he has stepped up his running and in fact is going to join our team for next year’s Ragnar Relay. I was taken back when he told me that he didn’t stretch after his runs. After some thought I realized that this was actually pretty common. Stretching after running should be as automatic as running itself. Not having enough time is not a good enough reason to not stretch. After all it really doesn’t have to take any more than 3 to 4 minutes to complete. After running I religiously put my knees through their full range of motion by doing 10 squats then do a standing quad stretch for 30 seconds each. After this, what is left is to stretch my hamstrings, again for 30 seconds each. This really assists in stopping a lot of the soreness that I would feel had I not gone through this routine. What do you do after running? Do you have a different routine that you follow? What can you share with the rest of us to assist in our recovery?