This year, I have had a little more time then I used to. While perhaps that has meant an increase in milage by about 5%, what the extra time has really been critical for is to learn to utilize RECOVERY to help me be prepared to workout harder and gain those small improvements. At this stage, the hope is to improve by seconds, percentage points, not leaps and bounds. Thankfully, I have been so lucky to learn about and be supported by a few AMAZING brands that deserve a shout-out here.
- Roll Recovery: Made my runners and athletes, these tools are fantastic as a means of self maintenance and massage before and after runs and especially hard efforts. The R3 roller is fabulous for plantar, a problem I struggled with in a major way all last year. In addition, the R8 roller is perfect for getting those muscles that stick (like IT Bands and calves for me!) to loosen up a bit and relax after you put them through a hard effort. Moreover, they are killing it with this classy mat that makes pre and post run stretching and prep a lot more stylish and comfy.
- Cheribundi: I love tart cherry juice and have become obsessed with this brand for a few years now. These perfect sized bottles come in three types, regular, recovery, and relax. Personally, I use the recovery post workout to have some quick protein and have the relax at night as it helps me get to bed. It is even replaced my favorite, red wine, at times ! Now that is a high compliment.
- Enduropacks: Made my triathletes who understand the rigors of intense training, this product has been a new addition to my line up and made a huge difference in my opinion. I truly feel more recovered than ever. First off, their pack consists of a daily multivitamin in the morning, an electrolyte spray that I can spritz right into my water bottle or even just straight into my mouth to gain some quick electrolytes, and then a recovery patch with amino acids I use after hard workout days. There are also glutamine pills for the evening that just aid in sleep in recovery. There is nothing better that products created by people who have been there and saw the need for something. I highly recommend giving them a shot, especially if you, like me, need a one stop shop for the vitamins and right stuff an athlete’s body needs!
- Beet Elite: I started trying Beet Elite powder with a bit of water right before my hardest sessions and have not stopped since. As someone who hates beets, the new runner food to many, this product helps give me the boost and nitric oxide that is so good for runners but in a tastier form that I can enjoy. Mainly, it helps me feel ready to take on those hard, fast, lactic acid inducing sessions without fear!
In addition, USATF has partnered with other companies who have made a big difference in the little things that are really big things. First HelloFresh has helped make healthy good meals affordable for my budget. Eating the right stuff shouldn’t be excusable for any reason. It is also fun to have so many new exciting recipes! Second, getting my very own Normatec has been amazing! Not only is it so fun for my non-runner friends and family to watch it work, but it really helps my legs feel as if I have gotten a message or ice bath after 10-15 minutes in the boots. For me, having an attachment for my hips has also really helped me with hurdle workouts and soreness.
So – THANK YOU guys for helping me be a better athlete and more prepared for the tough races ahead.