Training and recovery — make sure you get it correct

2014-02-08 00:00

AS has been stated before, progress is a very fine line between optimum training and recovery. Without recovery, training is wasted effort at best and excess leads to injury.

The purpose of training is to push the muscles slightly further and faster than the current ability.

In doing this, there is a minor amount of micro-muscle damage, which if provided with the rest and fed the correct nutrients, will recover and become stronger and more adapted to the workload.

The focus after training then is to provide the muscles with the correct nutrients as soon as possible, and this has to be in a environment of normal hydration.

With this in mind the best plan is to provide a liquid that will cause a small but quick insulin peak, so that the proteins and micronutrients are pulled into the muscle to begin the rebuilding process.

This is where a solution of High-Energy comes into its own, providing 60 grams of carbohydrate to kickstart the insulin swing and commence the replenishment of carbohydrate stores, with 20 grams of protein for the muscle and tissue repair.

The addition of eight grams of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) fats makes this a useful drink and meal replacement for runs over four hours.

It’s like having a meal on the go and will help runners who target six to seven hours in Two Oceans or anything longer than silver in Comrades.

Of course, when you go beyond eight hours this will generally need to be augmented with solid food, but the High-Energy is a means of providing a regular top up in a liquid form.

So as you head out into the long weekend runs, harder quality sessions and the qualifying marathons, put together a 58% mix of Replenish using around 500 ml per hour up to four hours of training. Any additional drink can normally be pure water.

Introduce a 200 ml drink of High-Energy when the run starts to exceed five hours.

Then when you finish, hit a 500 ml mix of High-Energy to commence the recovery.

The faster you recover the sooner you can train again, and the more training you can fit into the available time.

Trying to train before fully recovered is the recipe that sees you standing on the sidelines watching your friends in the race …

Peak training is always a balance between training, and recovery and requires both time off and nutrition. Make sure you get it correct.

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