“I can see your ankles!” I met my wife’s eyes as we laughed together at her observation.
It had been five days since my ultramarathon race, and the swelling had finally gone down. My inaugural “Walk the Walk” entry is ironically about how I went from running to recovery back to running again. If you are enduring an injury that limits your physical activity, just getting back into exercise, or fighting through some soreness; I hope my recent recovery experience expedites your return to the arena of moving well.
I learned that having a 1-month recovery plan post-event was just as important as my 6-month+ training plan for the actual race. During my first few days of recovery, I simply wanted to be a passive participant in my recovery. Then after a couple of days, I realized I could expedite my recovery by participating actively. That didn’t mean I was “active” in the traditional sense of running or bodyweight strength exercises. Instead, I realized I needed to be more mentally engaged in creating a recovery plan to support my healing.
One of my braver recovery activities was enduring a 10+ minute ice bath multiple times! This was a tip from my Direct Primary Care doctor. Before this, I was taking the easy way of just enjoying the warm Epsom salt bath strategy. I believe the combination helped expedite my healing process.
Here are some other strategies that supported my recovery:
- Foam Rolling
- Low Inflammatory Diet
- Homeopathic Muscle Creams & CBD Oils
- Moving Again
- Vitamins and Supplements
Rather than just a one-off event, I hope to experience a lifestyle of fun physical challenges for decades. I need to support my longevity and consider the importance of rest and recovery to accomplish this ambitious goal. The tweak I’ll make moving forward will be to consider three phases of a significant physical challenge:
- The Event
I’ve come to appreciate the importance of recognizing and honoring whatever phase we are in of the training/event/recovery continuum.
Cheers to pushing ourselves physically and also knowing how to rest and recover.