Running 50 miles is tough, but the recovery process following the race can be just as difficult at times. Staying disciplined enough to listen to your body and take the required time off may be the most important aspect of your training regiment and should never be neglected. My recovery process, although not entirely complete, is nearly over and I wanted to share some advice as to how to take control of yourself during the recovery process.
The recovery process is different for everyone. Sometimes full recovery may only take a day or two, other times it may take weeks. The recovery process is unique and although I may be able to offer some minor advice, the most important aspect of the whole process is listening to your own body and staying disciplined.
Mentally, I sometimes struggle to handle my emotions as well when I am unable to workout. During my recovery process, I tend to get more distracted as well as more restless than usual. Luckily however, I have found alternative exercises to my conventional workouts that allow me to still have my “me time” to reduce stress, but don’t require an intense workload that will affect my recovery process. Long walks, although they may sound boring, have been a “go-to” recovery exercise for me. If I walk fast enough I am able to raise my heart rate a little, giving me the satisfaction of a workout without really tearing down my muscles, thus not hindering my recovery process.
Listen to your body; if you don’t feel ready to get back in the gym, chances are that you aren’t. Rushing back into training, although seemingly necessary for your sanity, can be harmful to your body and can even put you back further in your training. Everyone is different, but it’s better to err on the conservative side and recover for a longer period of time.
Jack Burdick is majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and along with hisweightlifting workouts, he competes in marathons and ultra-marathons (50 mile races) and is looking to earn a Cross-Fit title or to be recognized with The World’s Fittest Man title which is reserved for an ultra endurance power athlete.