By: Magi Scallion
We all know how important training is, and nothing can substitute for a good hard workout or the “trials of miles” as they say in the book “Once a Runner.” However, it is also critically important to take care of yourself following the hard exertions to make sure they’re absorbed properly into your body.
First and foremost: Put on dry clothes. I participate in a winter sport (cross country skiing) and the top skier in the world have their coaches meet them at the finish line and they change into a clean and dry bra, shirt and jacket within 5 minutes of finishing. We don’t all of have the luxury of a coach at the finish line with our clothes, but we can make sure that we have a clean and dry set waiting in the car for as soon as we’re doing our cool down. Then your body can spend energy recovering and not trying to stay warm.
Secondly: Eat something! There are lots of great recovery products out there, from drinks to bars to turkey sandwiches. The key is having a good amount of protein mixed with some carbohydrate. Remember your relative calorie expenditure (there is no need to eat a 600 calorie bar if you’ve only run for 30 minutes) but make sure you take in some good quality food within 30 minutes of stopping exercise.
Finally: Drink up! You should be consuming some water or sport drink throughout your workout but definitely make sure that you top up the stores once you finish. I am normally ravenously thirsty and can easily drink the half-litre of water I keep in my car. Fluids will help your circulation and recovery.
These have been my empirical observations of what really helps. Of course napping, stretching, and a full night’s sleep are also important but not all of us have that luxury with other things on the to-do list. Try these recommendations out over the course of the winter, when it’s really important to take care of yourself and see if it helps!
Born in Nova Scotia and emigrating to British Columbia via Ontario and Alberta, Magi has been running the entire way. Primarily defined as a cross country ski racer, Magi has competed nationally and internationally in that sport. The highlight of her career was competing in the World University Games and the World Cup races in Canada in 2007. Cross country skiers rely heavily on running for cross training and Magi has become an accomplished trail and mountain runner, representing Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2005 and the winning numerous national championships medals.
Today Magi runs for fun… and it’s a lot of fun! Epic mountain runs, city cruises with friends, and more keep her happy and occupied outside of work and school.