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My Top 5 Tips To Improving Your Recovery

Recovery time and the variety of methods that can be used are sometimes over looked, but spending time on your recovery is just as important a s the training itself.

In terms of recovery you can look at things you can do prior to training, for example nutrition, hydration, type of clothing you'd wear and having a balanced programme. You can also put in place interventions to use after training, for example massages, hydrotherapy, and rest days.

You need to combine a mixture recovery techniques to really get the most from them and to make sure you're not too fatigued as your training builds up.

My Top 5 Recovery Methods are:

1. Sleep

This provides you with the time to switch off and adapt to mental and physical demands of training. A loss of 30-36 hours of sleep can lead to a dip in performance. Think of it being a few hours a night lost over the course of a couple of weeks and it soon adds up.

I know with small children how rubbish you can feel when you've been up part of the night with them and then having to train and go to work.

2. Massage

Isn't just for high performing athletes. Everybody can benefit from having a massage. You'll be warming and increasing the blood flow to the muscles and helping reduce the knots that can form from training and help to increase your flexibility. massage is also great psychologically as you can relax and and feel less fatigued as a result.

3. Flexibility and Mobility

This can often be overlooked and just though of as being your stretching in your warm up and cool down. If you can with a balanced programme set aside time each session of have a dedicated session to flexibility and mobility work. This can include foam rolling, trigger point work, specific assisted stretches and exercises linked to your training needs. This will mean you'll be ale to easily move pain free through complete rang of movement.

4. Nutrition and Hydration

A planned approach to refuelling and rehydrating your body will optimise your performance. You'll be able to control the horns in your body and have a better muscle function. It sounds simple but try to eat regular, cut down on sugars and processed foods, eat plenty of fruit and veg, drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

5. Down Time

Training is important and focusing on what you need to do is great, but having down time and thinking about other things is important too. This can be listening to music, going out with the family, reading, or my favourite getting engrossed in a series on Netflix.

These are just a few to focus on, there are plenty of others like wearing compression clothing, having ice baths and electrical muscle stimulation, but focus on my Top 5 and you'll see a real benefit in what you're wanting to achieve.

Gemma 'off to have a massage' Spackman