Best Recovery for Athletes [updated 2022]

Recovery in Sports

Recovery in Sports more important than Quantity of Training

First Published 2020


Training Effect = Work x Recovery.

In simple terms, if we take T (training) to be one unit for a typical session, then to make the TE (training effect) actually show the benefits of the training, the R (recovery) needs to be at least equal to one.

But most people aren’t adequately recovering. Besides, if you suffer from range-of-motion deficiencies, you should be focusing on those, first and foremost, as they have a massive impact on the rest of the equation. In fact, if you make the rookie mistake of just worrying about the training aspect, then you will never progress.

Over Training and Recovery

Many athletes are already training at their physical limits. By adding any additional training sessions to their current schedule would likely lead to overtraining. Eventually, this can cause physical burnout.

It is not the actual training that makes the athlete fitter bUT the recovery that allows for performance improvements. If you fail to recover, you fail to improve!.

Of course, without the physical training, the recovery aspect becomes insignificant. Suppose an athlete fails to give them a sufficient recovery period after a hard training session. Not only will they fail to progress in their training, but their performance levels will also go backward.

The focus of this article will be on different recovery techniques. Athletes may use it to help them recover faster in their training. A faster recovery means a better-prepared athlete for subsequent training sessions. And ultimately a better performance…

Ice Baths Benefits

Ice Massage

Contrast Showers




For those lucky enough to have access to a regular massage. Recovery from training and racing can be greatly enhanced. Like the above two mentioned techniques, a massage is an effective tool in increasing circulation to sore and tired muscles and hence improves the flow of oxygen.



With athletes constantly striving to improve their performance, the focus on recovery techniques is becoming increasingly popular. Ben Liddy shows us ways to get the most from your athletic performance. The icy-cold water at Falls Creek is a natural ice bath.

Throughout the body. A vigorous yet firm massage helps in the removal of lactic acid. A deeper, more intense massage can be used to break down any adhesion or scar tissue developed as a result of the traumas related to prolonged and intense training. The massage’s timing and the type of massage received is an important element to consider when booking in for a massage.


Post Prolonged Intense Training Session

Following either a prolonged or intense training session, soft tissues in the body are temporarily damaged. Adequate recovery allows these tissues to rebuild to a stronger level than previously. However, if an intense massage is applied soon after a tough training session, the tissues will sustain further damage and actually require a longer recovery period.

Ideally, a deeper, more intense massage should be applied two days following a very intense training session to allow some recovery of these soft tissues. At least 2-3 days before a competition.

An athlete will often feel a little flat following an intense massage treatment. Leaving this 2-3 day window ensures that they will not feel flat race day—a less intense but vigorous massage at any stage in the training week.



Technique: 7 Strokes

Try It: Try 7 light gliding strokes up and down your upper leg. Slightly vary the location and intensity of each stroke. Then try it on your other leg.

Purpose: Gliding is a good beginning for every massage. It warms your skin and sends a message to your body that a massage is coming.

Stroke Description: Glide your hand over your skin.

Note: Massage therapists call this stroke by its French name effleurage, which means gliding or skimming.

Tips: Velocity, volume, and intensity are three variables you can use to change the effect each stroke has on you.

Volume: Try covering more skin with each stroke by spreading your fingers wide or make a V with your hand.

Velocity: Try varying the speed of your strokes.

Intensity: Try varying the intensity of each stroke.

for the full article, please visit here

Learn these seven simple massage strokes, and a great massage will never be farther away from your fingertips.


Skins compression wear for protection and faster recovery.


There has been a huge increase in the number of athletes using compression garments. More specifically, Skins over the last few years to improve performance and facilitate recovery.

It has been proposed that the unique compression load applied to the muscles by the skin’s garments triggers an acceleration of blood flow. This increases oxygen flow to the working muscles and improving the removal of waste products.

Their compression reduces muscle vibration during exercise. Resulting in less soft tissue damage and muscle soreness. What distinguishes Skins from other compression garments is the unique gradient compression the garments apply.

Most other forms of compression clothing provide the same compression load over the entire covered area. However, too little or too much compression can either not affect or inhibit muscle performance and flexibility. In contrast, Skins, garments apply varying forms of compression over the different muscle groups to ensure optimal compression and maximal performance. (www.skins.net)


The role of proper nutrition and hydration becomes increasingly important following intense training or racing efforts. Although most serious athletes follow a fairly strict diet. It is important to review the roles of nutrition to ensure an athlete achieves maximum recovery.


Proper nutrition ensures:

  • Restoration of the lost fuel from the muscles and liver following exercise
  • Replacement of fluids and electrolytes lost in a sweat The immune system can recover


The intense bouts of exercise, manufacturing of new muscle protein, red blood cells, and other cellular components repair.

  • Restoration of the lost fuel from the muscles and liver following exercise

Following intense exercise, muscle glycogen levels become depleted.

These glycogen levels need to be replenished ASAP for an athlete to recover effectively for future exercise bouts. Ideally, athletes should look at consuming 1.5-2 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight within 15 minutes of finishing their training session or race.


Some simple ideas to achieve this include:

  • (50 g Carbohydrate portions)
  • 700-800 ml of sports drink
  • 2 slices of bread with jam/honey or
  • banana topping
  • 2 cereal bars

Research suggests that combining a carbohydrate-rich snack with an adequate protein source may be more beneficial for an athletes’ recovery.

Protein is used to repair damaged muscles following intense exercise, so it makes sense to combine a snack that restores muscle glycogen levels and assists muscle recovery.

Combined carbohydrate + protein sources include:

  • Sustagen sport drinks
  • Fruit smoothie
  • A large bowl of breakfast cereal with
  • milk
  • Bread roll with cheese/meat filling


Replacement of fluids and electrolytes lost in sweat. For optimal recovery, ensuring fluids and electrolytes lost in sweat are replenished following exercise is essential.

This is particularly important for athletes completing long training sessions or races in hot conditions.

Athletes may need to replace 150 percent of the fluid deficit following exercise to get back to normal levels.

A good way to monitor this is for the athlete to weigh them before and after completing a training session.

If you are 2 kg lighter following training, you will need to drink 3L of fluid over the next few hours to replace the existing and ongoing fluid losses.


Immune System

An athlete’s immune system is suppressed, which is more susceptible to illness. Recent evidence suggests that consuming carbohydrate-rich foods after a prolonged intense hard workout improves immune system function and reduces the risk of athletes developing an infectious illness.


Muscle Rebuilding

After intense exercise or heavy resistance training, muscle protein breaks down. It is during the recovery period that the muscles begin to repair themselves and grow stronger and bigger.

Intake of protein immediately following exercise assists in allowing the muscles to rebuild themselves at a faster rate.

Recent research shows that athletes who participate in resistance training-based exercises should consume protein before their training session because it is used for muscle regeneration more effectively than protein consumed immediately following the training session. 

The information on nutrition in this article is from the AIS website.


Monitor Recovery

One way athletes can monitor their responses to training and the need for additional recovery is heart rate. Athletes should get into the routine of taking their heart rate for 1 min while resting in bed in the morning.

The athlete should then stand up and take their heart rate for another minute. After doing this for a week, athletes will begin to notice there is a similar difference between their resting heart rate and their heart rate upon standing.

Continue to monitor this each day, and if you begin to notice, the difference between the two heart rates begins to increase by greater than 10%.

This is a good sign that your body is not completely recovered from the previous hard training and requires additional recovery time. This additional recovery time could take the format of a complete rest day or a straightforward training session. You may also choose to implement some of the recovery techniques outlined in this article.

Although quite simple, these techniques can be very effective in allowing athletes to recover quicker from intense training efforts. This allows the athlete to perform better in subsequent training sessions, allowing more frequent intense training sessions.


What If I Have to Take a Break from Running?

As I have a cold/flu coming along, I have decided to skip training today as I want to be fully rested for my race next weekend. I found this article on about.com

By Christine Luff, About.com Guide

Updated February 15, 2012


Question: What If I Have to Take a Break from Running?

I’ve been sick, so I haven’t run in five days. I feel like I’m behind in my 5K training schedule. What should I do? Should I make up the runs that I missed?

Answer: Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Sometimes an illness, an injury, or a hectic schedule prevents us from sticking to our running schedule. Here’s how you can handle a break in your training.


If you’ve been away from running for less than a week:

It’s possible to take up to a week off without losing any ground. In fact, a few days of rest may even improve your performance, especially if you’ve been feeling exhausted and sore. But after a week of not training, you’ll quickly start to lose your fitness — a lot faster than it took you to build it up.

Read the full article here.


Home Remedies For Muscle Spasms And Cramps

By Nicola Kennedy

From Healthguidance.org



One of the easiest ways to deal with muscle spasm is to have a hot bath or shower. You can also do some simple stretch exercises. This will improve blood circulation and help the connective tissue around the muscles. Before you pump up those muscles, hit the showers, it would prevent any occurrence of muscle spasm.

Muscle spasm mainly happens due to calcium deficiency, so include calcium in your diet. You can find a good source of calcium in low-fat dairy products such as yogurt, skim milk, and ricotta cheese. Before eating and drinking a calcium-rich diet, consult your doctor.

If you are prone to muscle spasms, it may be because of the acids that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Lessen the intake of acidic foods like tomatoes and vinegar. The inadequate supply of potassium to your body is another reason for muscle spasms. Increase your potassium intake, eat a good amount of bananas, potatoes, soya flour, bran wheat, ready-to-eat apricots, tomato puree, and such.


How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles

After reviewing for the job interview, I didn’t sleep at all as I had too much on my mind Tuesday night. After the job interview, I did my usual weds gym session of front squats; as I’m focusing on 400s, I’m doing high reps. 45×15, 50×15, 55×15, 60×15, 65×15.

I had to chuck on my headset to some good sounds to get me through the last two sets.

Also, I made sure I had longer rests, I usually only have a minute or 2 between each set, but I took around 6-8 mins as I hadn’t slept the night before to allow adequate recovery and made sure I was drinking plenty of water.

Anyway, I followed the directions from the below article, and even though I woke up sore after an 11-hour sleep on Thursday, I was still able to complete a 2×60,2×80,2×100 session at the track and finish with a 43.4 350 (the 250-350 was faster than the 150-250) segment.

Highlighting in this article how important it is to recuperating tired muscles.


Sore muscles

Sore muscles are a part of getting back on that exercise train. Increasing physical activity and exercise will naturally stress and fatigue your muscles. Soreness means your body is adapting to the activity and building strength. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to reduce the discomfort of exercised muscles.


  1. When adding ice, make sure to put it in a sealed bag or, if not possible, a plastic bag. It should never be applied directly to the skin as it can cause burns and cause muscles to take longer to heal. The bag should be tied tight with a towel as the compression element is just as important as the ice itself.
  2. Ice should always be applied first for 48 hours, or until the swelling subsides, then moist heat should be applied.
  3. Some people have an intolerance to Ibuprofen and anti-inflams best to check with the doctor first.


This tape can help prevent and accelerate the recovery of muscles.

Kinesio Tape




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Categories: 05. Training
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