Hi everyone! It’s the middle of yet another sunny, gorgeous week in Anchorage and I’m loving it. I mean, mid-60s and sunny from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm? That’s basically perfection. I want to be outside ALL THE TIME and so does the rest of the city!
Anyways, if you read my training update from Monday you’ll know that my hips/glutes are not feeling so great right now. Maybe it’s the fact that I fill every possible moment with some sort of outdoor activity or a Pilates class? I clearly need more rest days despite the fact I don’t have time because there are a million different hikes I need to do in the next few months. And since the sun is staying out longer my body is trying to adjust to that too – it’s super common for me to forget what time it is and stay up way too late because it’s still sunny out! And on top of all that, add in the fact that I’m NOT a morning person, yet my training group’s long run happens at 8:00 am and my body has no idea what’s going on or how to deal with the aftermath of running so far so early in the day. After my long morning runs, I’m not really recovering well and end up feeling terrible all day. Despite the fact that I’ve done so many long runs and early races in my life, they’re not getting any easier.
I feel like I’m doing some things right – I wake up an hour and a half before the run to drink water and eat oatmeal, I carry water and fuel with me while running and I’ve got a pretty solid routine for mid-run fueling, and I recover right away with water, pretzels (I crave salt after running), Nuun, and chocolate milk. Right after stretching, foam rolling, and showering I eat a full meal, and I keep eating/drinking regularly throughout the day. But I still end up feeling like death after a few hours, and all I want to do is nap and eat. No matter what distance I’m running in the mornings – 3 miles or 13 miles – I’m still equally exhausted by long morning runs.
I’m realizing now that I need help to get better at morning running and recovery! So I recently asked some of my fellow bloggers for some long run recovery advice, and I got the following tips:
- Christine from Run Out of the Box suggested waking up 1.5 hours before the run to eat breakfast. She eats a PB&J sandwich that she puts on her nightstand the night before, and then goes right back to bed! Even though I already eat 1.5 hours before long runs, I’m impressed by her ingenuity with eating and then going back to sleep 🙂 Every minute of sleep is precious!
- Jen from Marathon Mom suggested a post-run protein to carb ration of 3:1. I never think about that kind of stuff while recovering (my brain is just like EAT EVERYTHING) so I’m going to look for some post-run meals that satisfy that ratio.
- Kim from Two Years to Kona suggests including enough iron, protein, and B12 in my diet. I don’t take vitamins right now (I take Vitamin D in the winter) so I’m thinking that adding some more vitamins to my diet may help with recovery.
And then just to make sure I’m not missing anything big, I checked out some expert advice on long run recovery and found the following articles:
- Long Run Recovery Done Right: Even elite runners take naps after long runs! It’s not just me!
- How Do Morning Workouts Effect Sleep?: This is so my sleep pattern, but with early work start times instead of workouts. Once again, I find it interesting that early wake up times for workouts leads to naps later in the day.
- Recovery From Running Hard Workouts: I have never taken an ice bath/epsom salt bath before, but all of the baths and napping on this list makes recovery sound kind of fun 🙂
One thing that I heard from almost everyone – including comments on Monday’s post – was that I need to make sure I get enough sleep. I wake up at 6:30 every day for work so I thought getting up at 6:30 for a long run would be no problem. But then I realize that I’m not a morning person, and by the time Saturday rolls around I’m usually tired and need a slightly later wake up time. And I hate napping because it messes with my sleep schedule. Maybe early long runs just don’t work for my body, which is unfortunate since almost all races happen early in the morning! But I’m going to try to take some of this long run advice and hopefully I will feel better next time!
How do you recover from long runs, especially morning ones? Any advice you think I’m missing and need to try? Are you a fan of ice/epsom salt baths?