When it comes to endurance events, everyone prepares a little differently, has their favorite recovery products and unique twists and turns. Here are some universal truths.
1. Prepare for the event. This one is obvious. . . for most but not all. I am amazed when I hear that someone is doing a major event like a half marathon or greater and is ill prepared or take a whole month or 2 to get ready. This is the ultimate act of both foolishness and selfishness.
If you are not prepared, don’t go. Even if you do make it, the toll that is will have on your body in terms of inflammation is tremendous. If you are young, you may get away with it . . . for a while. If you are a little older, it will catch up to you soon. In EVERY event, the bill will eventually be due.
If you are going with a friend or a group, show some respect for them. If you don’t finish you not only ruin it for yourself, but for others as well. Endurance events are a tremendous teaching tool. One of the lessons is “Respect others. Don’t be selfish.”
Another one is even more clear. . . .Be Prepared!
2. Recover. It is easy to skip this one, particularly after an event. The adrenaline is flowing and it is hard to calm down. You finish and immediately (alright maybe a day later) want to jump back on the bike or hit the road and go longer, faster, quicker etc. Don’t. Recover first.
Fatigue in the legs is fairly easy to recover from. Cardiovascular fatigue is not. You can easily tell the difference.
“My legs are so sore and have no zip to them.” This is muscular fatigue.
“My legs feel fine but I have no (overall) energy.” This is cardio fatigue.
Almost all of the time, it is cardio fatigue. This is where over training (which is really under resting) and injuries make their appearance. When the body, particularly the heart is overworked, it is highly susceptible to illness and injury.
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