Happy Friday! This week’s Friday Thrive is the recovery edition, probably because this week for me has been focused on post-race recovery. I don’t know why, but for some reason I was sorer after this 10K than I was after my last half marathon PR!
This is my favorite photo from race day, because it captures exactly how I felt. 10K races hurt!
I need nature on my runs. Granted, an absolutely spoiling aspect of living in the East Seattle area is that I can access multiple paved trails within the range of just walking out my doorstep to a 15 minute drive, and then just a bit further for actual hilly dirt trails. I don’t have to go far to run in quiet communion with nature. The more green I see on a run, the better.
And also the more blue, the better! Finally, rainy season is over and the beautiful blue skies of Seattle summers have arrived.
In my latest article for Runkeeper, 3 Tips to Up Your Recovery Game,” I talk about just how nutrition can play a role in recovering after a run.
How much attention to do pay to what you eat after a run? Post-run nutrition is vital to properly recovering after a hard workout or long run and both the timing of the food (30-60 minutes post-run) and what you eat can improve recovery. But you don’t have to reach for that beet-turmeric smoothie in order to optimize recovery. Research indicates that blueberries and tart cherry juice provide enough anti-inflammatory compounds to reduce oxidative stress and improve muscle recovery.
“Collagen Supplements Aren’t Doing You Any Good” from Outside.
Some of my athletes have asked me about collagen supplements and my answer is to always not waste their money on them. This article affirms my philosophy on supplements such as collagen: they simply don’t work because of how your body breaks down protein. Your body doesn’t automatically transport the whole collagen structure from the supplement straight to the injured tendon or ligament. Collagen, like any protein, is broken down into individual amino acids upon digestion. And even if the collagen wasn’t broken up during digestion, the process of rebuilding collagen in your muscles is much more complex than pasting in collagen molecules.
You’re far better off prioritizing complete proteins within the 60-minute window after a workout, eating a nutrient-dense diet, and following standard recovery protocols of icing, appropriate stretching, and foam rolling.
After the Snohomish Women’s Run, we went out for Greek food. I probably ate at least two or three servings worth of pita, but this was a delicious post-race meal. We got hummus and other dips, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and split a gyro – so delicious! But Greek/Mediterranean food only makes me crave it more, so this week I’ve made this crispy baked falafel recipe from Cookie and Kate and this chicken shawarma recipe from NYT Cooking (served over rice with lots of roasted vegetables and a tahini-lemon sauce).
Ollie’s mileage is increasing (this week will be 25 miles for him) and consequently, he’s become calmer. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s almost 2 years old now as well, but regular runs burn off his crazy energy. All he wants to do during the day, minus a few bouts of playing with Charlie, is rest on the sofa. He’s even become more snuggly in the evenings, although I’m not quite equipped to manage a 50 lb lap dog.
Have you tried collagen supplements? Do you think they work?
Pita and hummus or chips and salsa?
What are your plans this weekend?