What are the next steps to continue with our regeneration timetable after the first recovery drink and the cool down? So here is how I continue to get back into training as fast as possible.
4. Competition day, 60 minutes after crossing the finish line
Massage for 15 minutes. A light massage relaxes the body and improves the overall regeneration process. Important: A post-competition massage should focus on smoothing the muscles and light stretching. It should not strain alreday inflamed muscle tissue to an unecessary extend.
5. Competition day, 90 minutes after crossing the finish line
Ice bath or cold water immersion for 10-15 minutes. Studies show that 13 to 16 degrees of water is best suited. The body temperature is adjusted, inflammatory processes impressed, vessels narrowed and metabolic products transported away faster. However there are different studies with different results showing that 3x 4 minutes result in the same benefit while other studies completeely reject the benefit at all and that it all comes done a placebo effect that is mindset driven. From my own experience and athletes that I´m working with, I can say it helps - and I don´t care if there is measurable evidence or if it´s a pure mental thing. Fact is that there needs to be more scientific research. Then warm up and take a shower 20 minutes later. After showering, compression socks have shown, an increase in the bloodflow from the legs back into the cardiovascular system. Continue to drink.
6. Competition day, 2 hours after crossing the finish line
Have a bigger meal. The first meal after a race should be balanced and easy to digest. Ideal is whatever you like and that doesn´t cause any issues for your stomach. Go with common sense, non artificial food and go with what worked out for you before. Drink mineral water.
7. Competition day, 2 hours after crossing the finish line
A short nap after the meal stimulates the regeneration. The cardiovascular system continues to rest, the muscle tone decreases, anabolic hormones are released. Studies have shown that a rest of 25-30 minutes might be optimal and the athlete feels refreshed, both physically and mentaly. You might need more than 30 minutes after ultra-endurance events and multi-day races. Your body will tell you what´s right for you.
8. Competition day, 4 hours after crossing the finish line
Do an activity (not running) of your choice for 30-45 minutes at an easy pace. Important is to not stress the cardiovascular system and muscles but to stimulate the blood circulation. Metabolic products are carried away faster from muscles and inner organs and nutrients are pumped into the blood vessels.
...to be continued!