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.

Work the CORE, Daily!- Plank it up ~ Jim Lubinski


CORE is a very prominent term in the endurance sport community.  If you were to look at Twitter, there are countless articles published daily about how important the core is in Endurance Sport.  The "10 MUST DO" exercises to improve your core is a common headline. Many on these exercise are extremely advanced. Much too difficult for the beginner/average/advanced athlete.
Working the core brings the body together.  It is the power plant of the body. The core allows the upper body to work more in unison with the lower body.  The core promotes better balance, body alignment, and muscular coordination. The core helps you engage the correct muscles when executing the individual demands of the activities we perform.  A strong, stable core is vital to high level performance.
I always thought I have had a strong core.  I could do sit ups, knee ups, legs lifts, bicycle crunches, etc.  When it came to planks and bridges, I could not hold these positions for more than 20 seconds.  Last year I committed to working my stability fitness/strength daily. I would plank, side plank, bridge, etc. up for 7 minutes daily.  Thats it! 7 minutes a day. What I realized after doing this for a few months, is that I never knew what a strong core was.
I muscle through everything I do. I always have, going back to my ice hockey days.  If I only knew what a truly strong core could do for my performance. When my core started to adapt to the stability training I was practicing daily with my 7 minute core routine, I found that I could use the core to hold the body in a better position while swimming, biking, running, and living.  This improved posture, allowed for better efficiency, and, in turn allowed for more power coming from the strong foundation. This made me stronger, faster, more resilient to fatigue, and better able to hold my posture throughout the day.
Don't over think the core training.  You do not need to get too complex. Get back to basics.  You can add a little variety into the 7 minutes of daily core, but the priority is stability.  If you consistently hit your core-stability daily, the gains will come. You will feel a strength in your performance like you never have had before.
7 Minute Core Routine
Hold/Perform Each for 30-60 Seconds
  1. Plank Static Hold
  2. Straight Leg Lifts
  3. Right Side Static Plank
  4. Scissor Kicks
  5. Left Side Static Plank
  6. Static Bridge Hold
  7. Plank to Push Up Position
You can substitute one exercise for another, but the emphasis must be on consistently getting in the routine daily.  The stability exercises take priority. Work up to 1 minute at each exercise, continuous from one to the next with no breaks.  After two months of this routine, you will see a drastic difference in your overall strength, fitness, and performance.
With our current daily routines being centered around computers and smart phones, the core is a vital component to counteracting the poor habit brought on by technology.  We add in endurance sport timing without the increased posture the core work promotes, and the imbalances lead to injury.
Commit to your core!

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