AVOID INJURY & FEEL BETTER AFTER TRAINING
Have you ever woken up after a big hike or the day after completing The Kokoda Challenge and felt like you couldn't move? You're not alone, and lucky for you, we have Recovery Science on board as our recovery partner for this year’s events to provide you all with the best tips during your training and after you have completed the big challenge!
Here are the 3 top tips from Recovery Science:
If there’s one thing you take away from reading this blog, please let it be to get your sleep right! Not only for recovery, but also for your overall health and wellbeing. More sleep or getting better quality sleep equals better performance in physical training but will also improve your mental health.
So how do you get better sleep? Avoiding screens 2 hours before you go to sleep can positively impact the quality of your sleep. If this is not possible for you, your iPhone has a night mode setting which will limit the amount of blue light coming from your device which has been linked to detrimentally affecting your quality of sleep. Swap your screen for a printed book and see if you notice a difference! Other sleep hacks include:
- Taking a hot shower at night and having a cold shower in the morning
- Make sure your bedroom maintains a cool temperature during the night and draw your curtains to make your room as dark as possible-17-22 degrees
- Go to bed and wake up the same time every day
2. Nutrition & Hydration
There are many important tips to consider when it comes to nutrition while training for an endurance event such as The Kokoda Challenge, but we’re going to stick to the important nutrition tips relating to recovery. You can check out some of the other blogs to find more tips on nutrition.
It’s all about refuelling, rehydrating and rebuilding! When you train or complete. The Kokoda Challenge, you will have depleted your body of a lot of energy, hence you need to refuel by consuming a nutritious carbohydrate rich snack within 30 minutes of finishing to help refuel depleted energy reserves.
Aim for foods such as fruit as they contain high amounts of fructose as well as fibre, so you get the carb intake without the high insulin spike.
You can quite literally see yourself losing fluid from your body while you exercise when you sweat and your body requires water to be able to recover! Replenish your body with the fluids you lost by rehydrating with water, electrolytes and monitor the colour of your urine, which will provide you with an indication as to whether your body is hydrated or not.
Lastly, rebuild your body with ample protein! It’s very important to incorporate protein in your diet while you’re training to ensure you’re building muscle and also to help your body recover too!
Check out some of the protein bars, powders and more from our nutrition partner Megaburn who are offering exclusive discounts for Kokoda competitors here.
3. Active recovery
This is our favourite part, especially for Kokoda Challenge competitors who are new to the science of recovery! This includes some well-known knowledge such as incorporating stretching and cool downs after training or the event. But also, the exciting world of cold-water immersion, compression therapy, massage guns and more!
Cool downs are essentially low intensity movement at the end of a training session to ease your body out of high intensity exercise. For example, if you’ve just completed a strenuous hike with steep inclines and declines, try walking around flat areas for 10 minutes and doing some light stretching for 5 minutes afterwards before jumping back into your car. Stretching will help with mobility and the circulation in your muscles. This also allows time for your core body temperature to reduce as well.
You might notice that after a big hike or run, that some areas of your body are particularly tight or sore. If this is the case, try using a foam roller or massage gun to alleviate these trigger areas.
After a big training session or certainly after you’ve completed The Kokoda Challenge event, your whole body will probably be feeling pretty ordinary! Cold water immersion therapy can be beneficial in reducing post-exercise inflammation and actually help treat sports injuries. Better yet, the process of contrast water therapy or hot/cold baths use your circulation to flush your body which can be particularly useful if you’re injured as it is a more passive method of recovery. It also stimulates the central nervous system, helps relieve stiffness and pain, increase range of motion and much more.
In addition, massage is another great way to release trigger points, promote circulation and not to mention, also reduce stress! It’s worthwhile seeing a physiotherapist if you’re feeling particularly sore in some areas, as they’ll be able to also give you exercises to help stretch and strengthen these areas.
Last, but certainly not least is the use of compression therapy. These contraptions are not particularly fashionable, but they are outstandingly effective! The Normatec compression boots available for use at Recovery Science work by applying external pressure to the limbs. The pressure exerted is greatest at the ankle/forearm and gradually decreases up the leg or arm, which is called graduated compression. The benefits include increase blood flow and improved circulation, reduce swelling and muscle soreness and more.
Remember to always speak with a physiotherapist before introducing any significant changes like this into your training and recovery or reach out to Nathan at Recovery Science for more tips and recommendations for a recovery schedule that suits you and your Kokoda team!