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Daniel Labuz
11-20-2008, 06:01 AM
I do most of my runs on the road in VFF, and on some days I can recover quickly overnight (meaning my legs can be used properly again) but sometimes I don't and my legs feel terribly cramped and I can barely walk correctly.

Most notably yesterday I did a 5.5 mile run with a lot of hills (IE going up for quite a while then coming down) and like normally I couldn't walk normally or even stand up without using my arms the rest of the night. But today it's pretty much the same thing, I can barely use my legs at all which is kind of sad.

I've done many many runs on roads/trails/whatever with my VFF, I've racked up well over 100 miles running and even more on hikes in them, and I've had my fair share of days where I couldn't move. But it seems odd that I can't recover this time around like I used to.

What I usually do post-run is:

Eat a yam, some protein powder, and a larger meal 1-2 hours later consisting mostly of protein and carbs.

In between the yam and protein powder and large meal which I inhale very quickly, I jump into the shower and do 2-3 minutes hot/2-3 minutes cold mainly on my legs and do this 3-4 times. The water at this point doesn't feel cold enough and it hasn't for a long time so maybe I should invest in a bath and throw it outside so I'll have a bath that's pretty much near freezing?

Sometimes I will also use one of them massager sticks to help with the cramps, although I didn't use it last time could this have been the cause?

Also, I did Back Squats on Monday, and Front Squats on Tuesday, could that have affected my legs and make them weaker on Wednesday?

Is there anything else I can do to recover faster, I don't have time to deal with bum legs all the time!

Garrett Smith
11-20-2008, 06:45 AM
Get more magnesium. Possibly a lot more. Also zinc.

Daniel Labuz
11-20-2008, 07:24 AM
That's weird because my fitday always was below the RDA for magnesium and zinc and was worried about that, but I could never find natural sources for such minerals. I guess I will have to research more and get some more variety in my plants

Mike ODonnell
11-20-2008, 09:30 AM
Have a Beer.

http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/3467

Garrett Smith
11-20-2008, 10:32 AM
As an athlete (which increases zinc and magnesium needs) and likely already with a deficiency, you may or may not be able to get everything you need from food. Sad but true.

Daniel Labuz
11-20-2008, 10:49 AM
So it would be recommended to take a supplement? I actually started eating pumpkin seeds primarily for the magnesium they have I remembered, but other foods that are rich in magnesium are mostly grains (which I'm not too keen on). Other choices are broccoli and spinach which I already eat plenty of.

Zinc choices include more grains, and also pecans and meat (which I eat as well, including 90% of my meals are meat oriented).

Doesn't seem like much choice at the moment. Guess I will find out more, and possibly if I can't get anything else then I will have to find the best supplement.

David Mathews
11-20-2008, 11:34 AM
If you did backsquats on Mon. and front squats on Tues. and ran 5.5 miles on Wed. I think I know why your legs are shot. Why did you do weighted squats back to back?

Garrett Smith
11-20-2008, 12:35 PM
Your workout schedule does likely have something to do with your leg fatigue.

That being noted, if you are noting a decrease in recovery ability, it is very possible some sort of nutritional deficiency is continually getting more significant.

Some interesting quotes from reviews of mineral nutrition as pertinent to athletes:

Evidence is presented that both iron deficiency and magnesium deficiency can result in a significant reduction in exercise performance; however, the biochemical lesions underlying the reductions in exercise performance have not been identified. There is evidence that dietary magnesium intake may be suboptimal in some individuals, thus dietary supplementation of this element may be useful in some population groups. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3285436?ordinalpos=6&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

Magnesium deprivation increases oxygen requirements to complete submaximal exercise and reduces endurance performance. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15212745?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=4&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed)

Salt, potassium, and magnesium are lost in nutritionally significant amounts in the sweat, but vitamins and trace elements are not. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6390609?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=5&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed)

Supplemental magnesium and zinc apparently improve strength and muscle metabolism. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10919964?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=2&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed)

Considering the difficulty that humans have digesting the fiber so extensively present (binding up all the nutrients) in nuts/seeds, I personally wouldn't rely on them for a magnesium source as a hard-training athlete. I tried quite a bit to find info on the bioavailability of magnesium in pumpkin seeds or simply "seeds" and could find next to nothing. Digestion and absorption are key, or else we could just eat rocks for minerals.

Daniel Labuz
11-20-2008, 01:15 PM
Thank you for the information, very much appreciated.

Also, I've done weighted squats back to back many times without ill effect. I know many people claim you shouldn't lift the same 2 days in a row, but I rarely do it and my strength was slipping so I had to do more strength, sounds logical to me at least.

Mike ODonnell
11-20-2008, 05:17 PM
Also, I did Back Squats on Monday, and Front Squats on Tuesday, could that have affected my legs and make them weaker on Wednesday?

Ummmm....YEAH! Missed that first go round....why do you do back to back squat days anyways? Your legs are so destroyed down to the muscle fiber level that the best thing you can do is nothing and just eat and sleep. Walking is about the only activity level your muscles need for some increased blood flow...but damage is damage at only time can heal that.

Craig Loizides
11-21-2008, 07:23 AM
Running downhill produces a large eccentric force especially on the quads which can lead to a lot of soreness. You might want to try easing up on the downhills. Although some runners say a hard downhill run about once a month can help make the legs more fatigue resistant.

If it's normal for you to be unable to stand for the rest of the night following a run I'd say you need to ease up a bit on the speed or distance of your runs. Scaling applies to running the same way it does to lifting. Just because you can finish a run doesn't necessarily mean you should.

You're also doing a huge amount of volume. Are you sure you're eating enough total calories?

And with the high volume you're doing you will need to take 3-7 days off once in a while. Remember, you get stronger when you rest, not when you're working out.