SKINS Recovery Tips by Andrew Pap

Andrew Pap, Endurance Athlete

Andrew Pap, Endurance Athlete

For those of you who are looking to participate in The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon this year, I cannot stress how important it is to have good recovery strategies in place.

If you keep taking from you body and you never give anything back, how can you expect to keep backing up your training sessions let alone perform optimally come race day?

Here are my top tips for recovery. You should consider them to be as important as training when it comes to preparing for an endurance event.

Self Myofascial Release

It's important to minimise muscular and skeletal imbalances prior to participating in an endurance event. For example, if your hamstrings are tight your hip flexors will work over time and eventually you'll be dragging your feet across the ground.

Use a foam roller, trigger balls, micro bands and stretching bands to help roll out any tightness, build strength in smaller stability muscles and stretch it all out.  Also consider seeing a sports physio or massage therapist during your training to help with maintenance. They can also tell you where your weak points are and how to work on them.

Compression

There are so many studies on compression and its many benefits when it comes to performance and recovery. In fact, in a study on 11 subjects using a MRI to demonstrate the muscle changes during recovery, the results signified significant improvements in enzymes involved in muscle membrane restoration after only 1 hour of wearing SKINS.

Essentially, wearing SKINS accelerates the body's natural recovery process, helping you recover to the point of the same or greater performance levels, faster. SKINS promote blood flow, support the muscles and boost the recovery process from the get go.

I personally wear compression when I am training as I find that it helps reduce my soreness post workout. If I have an event coming up, I also wear my tights and long sleeve top to bed in the weeks leading up to the event.

Nutrition

Having a balanced approach to nutrition and focusing on giving your body sufficient fuel and nutrients for optimal performance is imperative.

Whether you are gaining this from whole foods or supplementation, it is important to do your research and have the correct knowledge on nutrition and supplementation that suits your individual needs and your goals. This will not only help performance, but recovery too.

Remember that everyone is different, so if you find that your energy levels are all over the place or you are struggling to recover, consider seeing a health professional who can help.

Basic supplements that are staples in my diet include IsoWhey Sports Protein and BCAA’s and Ultra Muscleze by Bio Ceuticals.

Active Recovery

I am not someone who particularly enjoys sitting around on my days off, so I try to incorporate some active recovery days into my week, so I still feel like I am doing something while allowing my body to rest.

I try to get in around two yoga sessions per week, a swim and a sauna as I find that it really helps to balance out the tougher training days.

Sleep

Sleep is obviously incredibly important for everyone, but if you are taking a lot of energy from your body, it is especially important for you.

If you struggle to fall asleep at night, try to avoid having caffeine after noon. Don’t do HIIT training too close to bedtime, as it can be stimulating which is no help if you are trying to sleep. I also get off my email and try to avoid work for at least 2 hours before I go to bed.

Andrew Pap is a SKINS athlete, the owner of Battle Fit Australia, star of search4hurt season 2 and an Ultra Endurance Runner.