Roll with it! Some Simple Tips On How To Improve Your Training, Racing & Recovery

10k Ray - Physio blog

(Pic above – Eoin Everard showing us how to hurt ourselves with Foam Rollers!)

On Thursday last (24th October) myself and the other runners from Fit4Life Kilkenny were treated to a talk and demonstration by local top runner and newly set-up physiotherapist Eoin Everard, ( who took us through the basics on pre-covery, recovery and how best to use foam rollers. Eoin is a National Champion at 1.5km and a sub-4 minute mile runner so should hopefully know a thing or two about getting the body in the best shape possible!

Right now is the time to take heed of training/recovery advice as we head into the Winter months, which for most runners means the Base Phase or building towards a Spring Marathon and long miles pounding the road. The body will be put under a lot of strain and being proactive rather than reactive can save yourself a world of hurt!!

Although I have read up on nutrition, recovery and smart training before there was still a lot to learn and I realised how far off the mark I am myself, especially with things that appear completely basic. I have listed the points below that really stood out to me personally from the talk, which I hope to take into my regime immediately, and below that I have listed some great articles that can help athletes plan out a perfect training/recovery regime. Of course everyone is different in terms of ability, weight, amount of training you can do, distances you race, but if any of these can be of use to you, dear reader, then all the better!

  • The 1% rule – When trying to become better, faster, stronger it’s easier to make 1% gains in 5 different areas rather than make a 5% gain in 1 area!
  • Very basic, but make sure to get in 1.5-2litres of water per day
  • Maintain a clear urine colour pre- and post-training to ensure you are adequately hydrated
  • Increase the amount of Fruit & Veg for lunch & dinner. Get those sugars and carbs from natural healthy food types
  • If possible (in a dream life!) get in a nap during the day, minimum of 30mins to produce growth hormone and maximum 45mins so doesn’t upset normal sleep cycle
  • Keep your nutrition regular and consistent day to day. Think ahead to your training later that day as you plan meal content and timings
  • Get in some form a pre-workout energy snack, like a banana or nutrigrain bar so you are close to 100% starting the workout
  • Get those legs up post-workout! Even just 15mins of relaxing and keeping your calves elevated after a run will speed up the recovery process
  • Be very careful with your post-workout/race nutrition and ensure to get in some form of protein/carb mix and replenish water reserves as soon as possible after the workout
  • Spend 10mins after each workout with an adequate cool down and stretching/foam rolling (calves, hamstrings, quads, abductors, back) to restore muscular length and balance
  • Make an Athletic Diary to log activities, nutrition, mood, stresses and training in the days before and of a race and take learnings for what does and doesn’t work into your next race. Check out the free online RunnersWorld training diary
  • Try to eliminate artificial lights (tv, phone, laptop, etc) from your eyes in the build-up towards bedtime so you don’t affect serotonin levels negatively and aim for 8 hours of restful sleep each night
  • Be aware of and try reduce different voluntary and involuntary stresses acting on you throughout the day (family, social, work, environmental, new training regimes, heavy volume training, sleeping pattern, sickness). Check out the great article on ‘The Science Behind Stress’ I have shared below!
  • Below is the Recovery Pyramid (Courtesy of SolutionsPhysio)
Recovery Pyramid - Courtesy of SolutionsPhysio

Courtesy of SolutionsPhysio

I have listed some online articles below that I have found helpful to keep those injuries at bay and get the body running on full steam!

10k Ray - Foam Roller funny jpeg - physio blog post

Get Rolling!!!

Foam Rolling
How to Foam Roll Like a Pro – infographic – (

What is a Foam Roller, How Do I Use It and Why Does It Hurt? – (

Pre-Training/Race Nutrition
What to East Before a Run – (

A Runner’s Diet – Getting the Right Nutrition Before a Race – (

Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition for Runners – (

Post-Training/Race Nutrition
Re-Fueling the Runner: Post Workout Nutrition – (

Post-Workout Fuel You Need – (

Post-Training/Race Recovery
After the Race – (

Post-Run Recovery Tips – (

How to Recover from a Tough Racing Season – (

Overtraining: Why it Happens, How to Spot It & How to Dig Yourself Out
– (

All About Overtraining – (

The Science Behind Stress – Why Runners Can Become Injured – (

I would like to stress that this post is in no way written for profit or for business purposes with Solutions Physio. I am merely kindly passing on the key points I picked up from the talk to share with my readers and hopefully help a few other people train and race at their best and, touch wood, keep injury free!

Some more 10k Ray posts you may enjoy –
Pain and Rain – Race Report from 1st Cross Country race of season
Let’s Go Country! Online Articles on Cross Country Running
Triathlon Ireland National Series 2013 Wrap Up
World Triathlon Championships Race Report

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