More of us are running these days than ever before. But what does a healthy running routine look like? How often should you be running and what should you be doing to support your recovery?
Whether you’re an experienced runner or just starting out, sore or tight muscles and achy joints can get the better of you if you’re not careful and wreak havoc with your regime. No matter how intense your running routine, it’s paramount that you build recovery into your training plan.
If you’re wondering what runners eat, or which supplements are best for running recovery, then look no further. Here are our steps to perfecting your post-run recovery routine:
1. Stretch after running
Stretching can feel like a waste of time and a surprising number of runners skip it altogether, but stretching after each and every run - and occasionally in between runs - may help to improve your flexibility and prevent any stiffness from creeping into your muscles.
Gentle stretches performed immediately after a run have been shown to minimise soreness in the muscles. You should aim to stretch all muscle groups in the legs, hips, and lower back, and aim to hold each for three to five minutes.
2. Experiment with other workouts on your days off
Cross-training exercises such as swimming, yoga, foam rolling and pilates can all help to improve your running training and reduce the recovery time required between each run. You should also make sure you’re doing a variety of weight-based exercise each week to keep your bones and muscles functioning well and in good health.
Bones can become weakened by prolonged and frequent bouts of running, particularly if you’re running on pavements or on other hard surfaces and weight training has been implicated in the prevention of bone loss and a reduced likelihood of developing osteoporosis in later life. Studies show that, over time, strength training may even help to rebuild bone where bone density has been diminished by overexercise.
You can further support your musculoskeletal system by taking the right supplements. LYMA contains a potent cocktail of K2 Vital™ and Vita-Algae D3™ which work together to improve calcium absorption and delivery around the body, keeping your bones in better health for longer .
3. Make sure you’re sleeping properly
Your muscles and bones - in fact all the cells and tissues in your body - do most of their replenishing and repairing while you’re fast asleep. It is for this reason that it’s paramount you get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.
Lack of sleep can lead to other problems too, all of which can interfere with your training and performance. Common problems associated with lack of sleep include fatigue, anxiety, low mood, difficulty focusing and compromised immunity.
LYMA’s patented formula contains 600mg of sleep-enhancing KSM-66® Ashwagandha. The highly concentrated root extract is derived from completely natural sources and has powerful sleep-inducing properties. Research has shown that a daily dose equivalent to the dose you’ll find in LYMA can improve sleep quality and reduce sleep onset in those suffering from insomnia.
Getting a handle on your sleep will leave you feeling energised and in control. You’ll also experience reduced muscle fatigue and less soreness over time.
It should be noted that if you’re someone who’s struggling to fall asleep, it could be a sign of overtraining.
4. Use food to support you
What you eat is fundamental to your body’s ability to heal itself post-workout. You should be including plenty of good quality protein from animal or plant sources as protein is the fundamental building block of muscle repair. You also need to load up on complex carbohydrates before and after running to ensure that your body’s tissues are receiving all the juice they need to keep working efficiently.
A balanced post-run snack or meal should include both protein and carbohydrate, along with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Whole grain toast with eggs, spinach and tomato would be a good option, for example, as would a baked sweet potato loaded with black beans, avocado and greens.
Try to avoid simple sugars and alcohol where possible as they can cause recovery-hindering inflammation to build up in the body, damaging soft tissue, muscles and bones. Less than optimal nutrition can result in poorer performance, slower recovery, reduced metabolism and compromised musculoskeletal health, so make watching what you eat a priority.
5. Reduce inflammation
Running, whilst helping to relieve stress on the surface of things, causes cortisol to be released into the bloodstream. This is no bad thing in and of itself as cortisol is the hormone responsible for triggering the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response and plays a fundamental role in signalling to the body that it’s time to workout.
If you’re running frequently and taking very few days off, your body may produce too much cortisol and the amount that’s circulating in the body may reach an undesirable level. Excess cortisol production equals inflammation build-up in the body, resulting in a compromised immune system, reduced focus and productivity, problems sleeping, low mood and gut health problems; none of which are going to help you to stay on track with your training or smash your personal best.
Clinically-backed trials have determined that 250mg of anti-inflammatory HydroCurc™ , as formulated in LYMA, is just the right amount needed to optimise the body’s muscle recovery. HydroCurc™ is curcumin - the active anti-inflammatory compound present in turmeric - in its most bioavailable form. The world’s first 100% water and fat-absorbable form of curcumin, Hydrocurc™ is fast becoming the go-to supplement for fighting inflammation and speeding up muscle recovery in the process.
LYMA has been formulated with your health in mind. Whether you’re an ex-olympian, a fairweather runner or a total newbie to the realms of pavement pounding, LYMA can help you to reach your fitness goals and keep your body and mind healthy in the process. Take a look in our journal for more ideas on how to keep fit from home and to find out which workout trainers we’re enjoying following right now .