Preparing for a big race is not only nerve racking and a lot of hard work, its also super demanding on the body. Just like we service our car and back up our computer, we need to service the body! Its the only place you have to live and the only place you have to ride, run, swim, walk or whatever exercise your doing - you get me, recovery is the missing ingredient for a lot of us! So no you know that you need to recover, do you know when to recover? Find out when to incorporate recovery into your training schedule to optimise your performance on the big day.
When Should I Float?
Float therapy also known ad sensory deprivation tanks, REST and Floatation Therapy is a powerful tool when optimising recovery for the big day.
The best time to use the float tank when training for a race is before you start to feel your fatigue levels increasing and your strength or endurance plateauing. To avoid plateau, athletes benefit most when incorporating into their regular training regime. Floating once or twice a week depending on your training schedule is ideal however if time doesn't permit fortnightly will still provide great benefits.
A one off treatment will benefit you and your recover however the effects are cumulative and therefore, the more you float, the greater benefits your training will reap. For runners we recommend general maintenance is in your scheduled recovery and taper weeks. Adding an hour of floating to your weekly routine during these times will make a significant difference on your physical and mental performance prior, during and after the race as you’re likely to be less fatigued, more motivated and recovery times are much reduced.
Directly after racing a float tank session is highly recommended instead of having a massage. Massages are great however, your recovery results are significantly improved if coupled with a float first. Why you ask... floatation therapy first is it helps manage fluid, fatigue and soreness. A massage too soon after a big event can leave you a bit bruised (even with gentle/medium pressure) and the best results wont be gleaned as you may potentially still be too sore to tough it out!
When To Have A Cryo?
Cryotherapy is a great tool for sports recovery and used internationally by many elite athletes including Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Ronaldo. Cryotherapy is used to enhance performance both pre and post race.
The effects of cryotherapy are cumulative and it is suggested to complete 10 sessions in the first month and then maintenance beyond that. In saying that, you will get benefits after a single session and in the lead up to a big race we suggest 1-2 sessions per week depending on workload and injury status. To optimise the hormonal response pre race and ensure your body is in its best state for the race, a cryo session approx 2 hours prior is suggested.
When To Use The NormaTec Boots
Ideally after any big training session or race we would suggest you use the NormaTec boots for a few reasons - to decrease the amount of waste products built up in the legs, reduce the 'heavy legs' feeling and enable you to get back into training with less down time. In preparation for a big event we recommend that people try and get into the boots a couple of times in the week leading up to the event and as soon as possible after the race to prevent DOMS.