My short post yesterday on 1 day of scheduled rest each week really got many of you thinking, at least based upon the feedback I received.
(Yes, I love hearing from you, so keep your replies and emails coming!)
As time goes on, I'll share lots more about both recovery and rest. After all, assuming the training is done, isn't recovery the most important element to ensure you improve?
Today I want to get right to it and talk about the ONE most important tool in your arsenal to ensure you recover quickly and effectively.
I'm sure you all have your favorite tool, right?
So, is it your foam roller?
What about regular massage?
How about more sleep or better nutrition?
A secret supplement perhaps?
Nope, the MOST important tool isn't ANY of those.
Sure, a foam roller can help on a peripheral level with superficial myofascial release. And yes, without a doubt sleep is important; we all get too little of it. And massage? I think it's incredibly valuable, especially as you age and the miles pile up (lots more on that in future posts).
As much as you might be in love with your foam roller or your massage therapist, none are your MOST IMPORTANT tool for recovery.
So, I know you're asking.....what is?
The answer is....
That is, it is your own body - how your own body "moves" - it is your individual movement quality.
If you don't think of your own movement quality as a tool for recovery, you're missing out on the most important element to helping you stay young and recover faster!
If you are imbalanced or unstable, you're likely shredding smaller muscles as they attempt to do the work designed for the larger prime movers.
If you lack the mobility or flexibility you need, you're pushing the end range of muscles and tearing them up, causing excessive micro-trauma with each step or pedal stroke. And you're likely not attenuating ground-reaction-forces or gravity very effectively, increasing the "pounding" you experience with each step you run.
In my experience, the athletes with poor movement quality are in love with their foam roller because they beat themselves up so much in each and every workout! (Not good!)
They also never seem to fully recover or reach their potential, and also tend to end up injured.
Your most important recovery "tool" is you and your own individual movement quality.
Think about that the next time you're dying to foam roll or wondering why it takes you days to return to quality training after a hard effort.
Or if you're struggling with chronic injury despite using that darn foam roller every day!
Have a great weekend everyone!