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.

Triathlete Magazine July 2009 - BASE Performance Product Review

Chris Lieto officially threw his hat into the ring of sports nutrition a year and a half ago. Since then, he has learned what a challenge it can be to start a company, launch a brand and be a professional athlete. As a full-time multisport competitor and family man, it's all about energy and recovery. Well, and staying healthy, explains the three-time Ironman champ. I had been consulting some of the most trusted sports doctors for two years when I thought, Hey, if I'm having to seek out customized help from experts, there must be something missing from today‚ commercially available supplements.

And so a product was born. Lieto began by offering Base Amino and Base Water. His initial pitch for Base Amino was compelling: Essential amino acids allow for more efficient burning of fat, provide more energy, create leaner muscles, and facilitate better and faster recovery. Base Amino also includes adaptagens, which have garnered much attention and praise in recent years. Lieto tells us that he went back and forth about whether or not to create two products out of the Base Amino formula, but he decided that it was worth having a product that is basically two in one if athletes saw quick results while using it. We definitely did.

Base Water is structured water designed to improve the absorption of water into individual cells, taking hydration to the next level. We have been using both products for a little over a year now. Five or six months ago, Lieto added Base Electrolyte Salt and Base Recovery Activator to his line of products, which we've been using for about a month.

Although the jury is still out on his structured water product here at Triathlete, it's hard not to use it once you've read the testimonials of Lieto and other notable athletes. We found that on really hot days and before events, we couldn't help but add a few drops of it to water bottles filled with filtered water, as he recommends.

With Base Amino and Base Electrolyte Salt, we experienced pronounced results after just a couple of long workouts. Base Salt works like good electrolyte tablets or liquid dripper supplements, but it comes in small canisters with a tiny scoop. Not only can you add it to your favorite sports drink along with Base Amino, but Lieto also encourages athletes to use it in place of table salt, flavoring cooked food with a generous helping of it following exercise. Table salt and simple sodium chloride products lack the minerals necessary for effective hydration and sustained energy, Lieto says. We have found Base Salt to be a great way to ward off muscle cramps. The canister makes it easy to use, and it does taste really good on food.

We haven't been using Base Recovery Activator long enough (or strictly enough two tablets in the morning and four after daily training) to give it a fair shake, so we'd like to provide a more thorough review of it at a later time. The product is designed to help the body more effectively digest and absorb carbohydrates consumed during and following exercise, restoring muscle glycogen levels for better and faster recovery. Lieto tells us that the best way to test its effectiveness is to use it during high-volume training for two weeks then suspend use for a few days. When athletes stop taking Recovery Activator, they experience more fatigue and sorer muscles, he says. Lieto reports that this is the same formula his research and development team has been providing to Olympic athletes and Tour de France riders for several years with excellent results.

As for Base Amino, we feel it provides many of the same adaptagen results we've experienced with other products containing Rhodiola rosea, with the added benefit of more sustained energy. Lieto credits it with helping him be his leanest and strongest in 2007, when he took sixth at Kona, and one of our testers says it's one of the reasons he's been able to stay near race weight during the off-season for the first time in years.

One of the things we like most about Base is that we can use it with other products: My offering is not intended to replace sports food or energy drinks, but to enhance them, explains Lieto. They are complementary; it's all about balance and giving your body what it needs when you're pushing it to its limits.

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