Category Archives for Recovery

Compression Socks & Sleeves

“Do they work?” is commonly the question.

A “yes” or a “no” answer depends on what the individual means by “work”.

Sleeves and socks both have their uses, but the usefulness may depend on the situation.

I’ve used compression sleeves/socks during runs if my calves are a bit sore. The compression may reduce calf oscillation (movement) and help with any potential injury or just soreness.

Compression may not have much research behind its use during racing as a performance enhancer, but many people do find such gear comfortable, and being comfortable is almost always going to make you quicker. It is important to consider that the socks may be a bit warm in hot races.

The best option is to wear socks (not sleeves) as a recovery tool, which I often do for the rest of the day after a morning hard/long run.

Post-Run Headaches?

For the past few years I would experience headaches after long and/or hard runs in the heat.

I suspected it was due in some capacity to the temperature and sweat loss. Yet no matter how well I drank before or during these runs, I would still consistently experience a headache that could potentially last the entire day.

Thankfully I seem to have solved the issue with GU electrolyte capsules

Click the video below to learn more 🙂 

Fave articles:

The Science of Sleep: A Brief Guide on How to Sleep Better Every Night | James Clear | “Sleep is one of the strangest things we do each day.

Why Do We Sleep Under Blankets, Even on the Hottest Nights? | “Atlas Obscura | “And yet I was unable to sleep without some sort of covering. In this case it was the barest edge of my lightest sheet, touching the smallest possible part of my torso.”

Optimizing Your Sleep

Sleep is crucial to…everything!

Your work, your athletics, your mood, your health. Even how well you drive is impacted by how well you sleep. 

Below you’ll discover how I best optimize my sleep, some of my favorite sleep articles, and a great infograph from Casper 🙂

Fave articles:

The Science of Sleep: A Brief Guide on How to Sleep Better Every Night | James Clear | “Sleep is one of the strangest things we do each day.

Why Do We Sleep Under Blankets, Even on the Hottest Nights? | “Atlas Obscura | “And yet I was unable to sleep without some sort of covering. In this case it was the barest edge of my lightest sheet, touching the smallest possible part of my torso.”

How Important are Rest Days?

Great question that I was asked about the importance of rest days for runners.

It really depends on how much you're running AND what you're doing while not running? Are you getting 8 hours of sleep nightly or 6?

Are you eating enough protein and calories or not?

How's your daily physical activity? Daily stress? Are you on your feet a lot or sitting?

All of this comes in to play when taking rest days into consideration. People running a lot but also who rest well can get away with fewer rest/off days, but people like the ER nurse I coach absolutely need a few days of no running because when she's on her feet for a 12 hour shift that's still physical activity!

"Rest days? What do you think I'm doing when I'm sleeping?!." - Click to Tweet!

How much is too much cross training?

I was emailed from a newsletter subscriber asking for my thoughts on cross training.

“How much should runners cross train?” Click to Tweet!

The primary consideration here is how much is the individual running? If the person is at their upper tolerable limit of weekly mileage, they should likely be running and resting. But if there is room for activity then cross training can be an excellent way to build your fitness but not fatigue the legs very much!

Should Your Legs Feel Like Jello?

I was asked on Twitter if it was normal for legs to feel like jello after a run.

My response was "yes", but there's a different between normal and good! It's normal for legs to feel like jello (very fatigued) after a long or hard run. However even in those cases it's often best to end the run before the legs get to this point of fatigue.

For long runs I think it's normal/ok for the legs to be quite tired at the end, but for most other runs they should never be so long or hard to make the legs feel like this. Reaching this level of fatigue too often will increase the amount of rest/recovery you need between hard workouts. If you go 95% instead of 99% during your tempo/track runs, you'll require less easy/recovery days between hard workouts and you'll feel better!

Are you thinking about Recovery Runs wrong? (probably)

"It is my opinion that recovery runs as most people think them do not exist" - Click to Tweet!

When it is the evening or day after a hard/long run and you're a bit tired, going out for an easy half hour on tired legs is not going to enhance your recovery.

That would be like doing more bench pressing after a hard chest workout, it's not speeding up recovery. However, that does not mean they are not useful!

Recovery runs, running easy on tired legs, is a further stimulation for adaptation just as a workout is. All running is a workout, some are just more difficult than others.

When you do recovery runs you're simply getting more fit! Your body is getting stronger and you're eventually over time able to run better. This is why I refer to what would often be called a recovery run as a "Tired Legs Run" for my athletes.

The other side of the 10% mileage guideline for running.

The 10% rule dictates that you should never increase your weekly running volume more than 10% week by week. This is a good guideline for runners who are upping their volume but it’s only half of the mileage equation.

The 10% rule of increasing mileage is only half of the story – Click to Tweet

It is crucial to take unloading weeks as well! Increasing and increasing volume (stress) does not make you stronger, the periods of unloading and rest are when this occurs. Not only are rest/easy days necessary but if you’re running towards the upper end of your abilities than rest/easy weeks are also key to keeping you physically and mentally healthy.

With my own athletes and myself what I’ll often do is leave the long runs the same but reduce or cut out the midweek volume and workouts. In essence, you’re only taking an unloading work-week, but for busy working adults this is a nice relief physically, mentally, and with their work/life schedule.



My Post Hard Run Routine


I do 2-3 hard or long runs each week and have a fairly consistent routine that takes place after each one.

First I hit the fridge and drink some water or milk. I’m a fan of post workout milk since it’s just easier than a protein powder. Fairlife milk is my favorite due to their farming and environmental practices. I’ll often blend some VEGA protein powder into chocolate soy milk, too.

Next, I’ll do a general strength & mobility routine, duration based on time availability and how hard the run was.

Then, I will usually take a shower. Once in a while, I’ll do a hot water immersion after a long run. I do try to keep these hot baths to after easy / shorter runs to limit hydration loss, but sometimes a warm bath after a hard run feels good!

“See what a running coach does as a post hard run routine” – Click to Tweet