BASE Performance - The Art of Recovery BASE Performance - The Art of Recovery

The Art of Recovery

It’s that time of year again. Spring is happening everywhere. And with spring comes better weather and the itch to get outside to ride or run long miles. It’s also race season. Time to plan your race and race your plan. A lot of people think going hard and training 7 days a week is a sure fire way to success. But that really isn’t the case. What is the least thought of aspect of training? You might be surprised (or not) to find that it is recovery.

Recovery is a cornerstone to any good training plan. Without it, athletes would just run their bodies to the ground. Injuries would be rampant. Focus would be lost. Motivation would be lacking. It might seem counterproductive to the beginner athlete, but proper recovery will actually improve your race times and get you to that goal. Let’s break down what recovery means and what happens during that time.

To begin with, recovery is not the same for every athlete. Someone training for a 5K will have a shorter recovery times than someone training for an Ironman. Every training session an athlete has results in the breaking down of muscle fibers. It is during recovery that these small muscle tears repair themselves and grow bigger and stronger. In addition, there are various types of recovery. Active
recovery could be a 15-20 minute walk in the afternoon after your long run on Sunday morning. Long term recovery is built into your workout plan. For example, you might do a build for 4 weeks during
Ironman training but then do a recovery week where your training load is significantly less. Passive recovery are days where you literally do nothing except maybe take a nap on the couch while golf is playing in the background.

Keep in mind that recovery is not just about sleeping. An example: you go for a tempo run for about 3-4 miles. You feel good, had a great workout. At the end of the workout, you should take some time to
stretch and ease your body into the “rest and digest” mode or your parasympathetic systems. Doing some long, easy stretches and
possibly lying in shivasana (or corpse pose, literally the best yoga pose ever) for 5 minutes will give your body the cues it needs to start to calm down.

An often overlooked aspect of recovery are your nutritional needs. Keep in mind that when you increase your training load, your nutritional needs also increase. Consuming the right foods after workouts helps speed the recovery process. Downing a dozen cookies and a glass of milk might seem like a good idea if you feel you are crashing after a long run or ride, but there are better options. Maybe step away from the Chips Ahoy and try some greek yogurt with granola and berries or
throw on some chocolate chips for that cookie fix. Or use some BASE greens and make yourself a smoothie!

It is also imperative that you listen to your body. Not the “oh I don’t feel like running today” voice in your head that will derail you from your goals. Watch for signs of over training and needing an actual rest day. Some of the those sign are: feelings of fatigue beyond normal tiredness, lack of motivation or desire for your chosen sport, decrease in performance, elevated heart rate during the night, general aches and pains. When these symptoms hit, it’s time to take a rest day.

Remember that rest makes you stronger. It will help you maximize your fitness and athletic goals. It rejuvenates your cardiovascular and muscular systems to take on more load. It also prevents burnout. So take that nap. Try implementing a yin yoga class into your training weeks. Or maybe even take a leisurely bike ride with your kids or spouse. Your body, and your training, will thank you.

Self-Care Is an Essential Element in Your Fitness Routine - Written by Dana Brown

When some hear the phrase self-care, images of sumptuous spa treatments might come to mind. But there are everyday habits that can contribute to your self-care routine, boosting your physical fitness and your mental and emotional well-being. Here are some tips to integrate self-care practices without scheduling a spa day.

A cornucopia of studies recommend a plant-based diet that relies on whole foods. While it’s okay to indulge in sweet treats or red meat occasionally, experts say the majority of your menu should be made up of colorful fruits and vegetables and other minimally processed healthy foods, such as beans and whole grains.

Eggs, Avocado and BASE Salt

A well-balanced diet can help protect against health concerns including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer in addition to making it easier to keep your weight in check, according to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eating right can also improve your mental health. For example, research shows improving people’s intake of certain nutrients may be an important treatment option for conditions including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders among others. So giving your body the right foods can nourish your mental health, too.

Getting regular physical activity has many of the same benefits as maintaining a healthy diet. For instance, exercise can help you control your weight and combat conditions including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and a number of types of cancer. Exercise can also improve your mood. Physical activity boosts the brain’s release of natural chemicals that produce feelings of well-being while taking your mind off your worries. It can also increase your feelings of self-confidence and encourage social interaction, even if that just
means exchanging friendly “hellos” during a walk around the neighborhood, according to information from the Mayo Clinic.

4 girls in BASE kits

Incorporating mindfulness practices such as meditation into your self-care and fitness routine can also help you reap both physical and mental rewards. For instance, studies have shown meditation may help people manage symptoms related to anxiety, chronic pain, and sleep problems, among other conditions. The practice can also allow you to take a break from everyday stresses -- which is a critical element of self-care -- by encouraging you to focus on the present moment and reducing negative emotions.

If you’ve never meditated, setting aside a special spot in your home can help you adopt and enjoy the practice. Select a space or a room that’s out of the way and clear it of any clutter. Introduce items that give you a sense of happiness and inner peace, opting for natural elements such as living plants. Set up a soft place to sit and try to train your attention on your breath and focus on the present moment.

There are several guided meditations available online to help you
get started.

Eating right, exercising, and practicing mindfulness will also help you get a better night’s rest. Your sleep setting can have a major impact on how well you sleep. Many experts recommend keeping the room cool, at around 65 degrees. It’s also important to find mattress materials, sheets, and pillows that help keep you at a comfortable temperature when you sleep.

Take steps to keep your room dark while you’re sleeping and, if you don’t wake up well rested after seven to nine hours or must sleep during the day because of your work schedule, consider investing in darkening curtains or shades to keep sunlight out until it’s time for you to rise and shine. Likewise, try to avoid using electronics within an hour or so before bed since the light they emit can make it harder for the human brain to wind down, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Instead, create a relaxing routine that might involve reading an old-fashioned book.

When you think about it, a strong self-care routine builds a firm foundation for good physical, mental, and emotional health. It should be seen as a necessity, not a naughty indulgence. So make time to treat your body and brain right and it will return the favor.

About the author:

Dana is the creator of, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to making healthier decisions.

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