Today was a day of recovery. Recovery days have been planned into my training schedule after every long run. My long runs are planned for Sunday, which makes my recovery day on Monday. It is very important to note that recovery days are not the same as rest days. A recovery day is a day where you allow your body to recover from the torture you put it through the day before. Ice, heat, stretching, foam roll, mobility, stability, and light exercising. Those are the keys to a proper recovery.
I cannot emphasize enough as to how important ice is. This morning, I set up an ice bath in my bath tub and took a cool dip. It was pretty rough at first but I sucked it up for about 10 minutes before it became too unbearable. Then I headed to the gym and took a dip in the hot tub. This combination of ice and heat does wonders for the circulation and help bring much needed nutrients into the legs.
After this it was off to the foam roller. 20 minutes of pure mashing. Back, glutes, IT band, hammies, quads, hip flexors, and calfs. Non-stop mashing. When you put you body to the test as I did yesterday, regular old static stretching just doesn't cut it. A foam roller will take those muscles in a similar way a message therapist would. It also stretches out all of those adhesion's that occur in your muscles and fascia when we put them to the limit. Then I moved on to some basic yoga-like stretching exercises, and some mobility and stability exercises for my ankles, knees and hips. Rather than go into great detail about these, you should visit www.mobilitywod.com. The guy doing that really has a good grasp on increasing mobility and stability. His name is Kelly Sterrett and has taken a new angle on what Gray Cook introduced with the FMS.
Then it was off to 30 minutes of light biking on the spin bike. The highest intensity on this was about 5 out of 10. Nothing too much, just something to get the legs going so they wouldn't get stiff. Then I threw in a quick workout of 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 of push ups and knees to elbow. Again, nothing too intense, just wanted to get the blood going and work in some way.
Tomorrow will be a full rest day. Absolutely nothing will be done tomorrow and it will be everything I hope it will be. So make sure in your own training that you plan recovery days and rest days. Both of which are extremely important.