Saturday, June 19, 2010

The 3 Rules for Post-Race Recovery

I borrowed this bit of advice from elite marathoner Josh Cox. He just ran the Comrades ultra marathon in Aftrica and he posted this recently. Many times we boo-hoo ourselves for not getting a PR , or we jump right into running (guilty) So here is a reminder for myself as well well as you.

Race day arrives. The months and weeks of planning and preparation come to fruition. Some days we meet our goals, some days we fall short, but no matter the outcome, the plan can’t end at the finish line. Follow three post-race rules and you’ll be on your way to the perfect recovery.

  1. Celebrate! You’ve worked long and hard, enjoy great company, great beverages and some great food. If you’ve been depriving yourself of those nachos, or maybe those burger and fries, now is the time to dig in and go for it. I have a ritualistic pilgrimage to In-n-Out Burger for a Double Double, or if I’m feeling daring, I go for a “4×4 Animal Style”, Ryan opts for the ”Animal Style” Fries – if you have a few thousand calories to spare, give them a shot).
  2. Say no to the hot tub and yes to the ice bath. I know, the hot tubs feel good, the ice tub doesn’t. My former coach had a rule, no hot tubs until Wednesday. He was a doctor so we should heed his advice. After races our bodies are inflamed and beat up. Sitting in a hot tub may feel good but it’s only adding to the inflammation and prolonging recovery. At races, most of us stay in hotels. My advice: Give one of the fine hotel workers $10 to fill your bathtub halfway with ice. Top ‘er off with some cold water and take the plunge for 10-15 minutes. The first 4 minutes is horrible, after that it’s gravy. Give it a shot, your legs will thank you.
  3. Run 1-3 easy miles the day after the race… then take 2 weeks off. The run serves as a system check. If you can’t run, walk. Pay attention to little tweaks and pains so you can spend the next 2 weeks rehabbing the injury. Don’t underestimate the beating you took out there between the curbs. When muscle or heart cells are damaged, creatine kinase (CK), levels rise in the blood. After marathons, CK levels in runners are similar to those who have experienced a heart attack. Our bodies need time to repair. Take the time off, recover. It’s best for your body and best for your head. When the time comes to return to the grind, you’ll be ready.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yoga and Raw Food Expo

So last weekend I made it out for a day at the Yoga and Raw Food Expo at the New York Hotel. I'm a big fan of both but an expo on these kind of things can go one of two ways.
1. An informative learning experience and a chance to be around like minded people. or
2.wall to wall new age kooks who'll buy into anything if it's marketed the right way. Just say it was used by some exotic and magical ancient tribe you never heard of and you'll get a good handful of new agers to claim it will cure everything .
For example 'urine therapy' (brought to you by the kooks who actually think drinking your own urine is some how good for you.)
Well much to my surprise it was a little of both but mainly it was people selling themselves and whatever they had to offer. Even the lectures had people speaking who couldn't resist talking about how great their services were and how it would be a life changing experience , such as colon cleansing, going to their raw food camps, or doing yoga. This is all well and good but they missed the point that they were pretty much preaching to the choir and I don't think anyone needed to be oversold on any of this.

There was the colon woman who runs a colon cleanse clinic here in New York and all she did was talk about the importance of cleansing when she was suppose to be giving a lecture on raw food. That's all well and good and I don't need to hear about these mysterious toxins and all the stuff that may be lodged up in my butt, she would have been more credible if she talked about it being a preventative measure for colon cancer (which it is) rather than it's a must do before you go raw, and by the way I'm located at... If you are interested in this I suggest you visit this website and you can find off the shelf colon cleansing products as well as an informative video from CBS news on there.
Then there was the cancer survivor who wrote a book and runs a raw food retreat. Her claims include that going raw reversed cancer (I don't doubt that part so much because I've heard it before) And that her grey hear went back to it's natural color (as she stood there with her obviously dyed hair and highlights.)And of course lets not forget for the low price of $12000. for 30 days you too can live raw, or you can do it on your own and save 12G and the trip to Georgia.

There were also astrology lectures and lots of other new agey forums, there were discounts on books on eating raw yoga and spirituality that were up to 80% off, and there were tons of yoga classes.
In all fairness with the kookiness aside there was lots of good information but you needed to weed through the nonsense. So would I go again? Sure, I did get something out of it and honestly the yoga alone was worth it, and truth be told even the kooks are fun.