The best recovery method

I’m not saying foam rollers are bad, I use mine every day. I’m just saying there’s something even better.

These days, we’re bombarded with marketing for the “best” recovery product or method. You can’t get away from it. Buy this product, watch that video, and you’ll know the secret to rapid recovery.

It all sounds great but does it work? Probably not. There are some that offer modest benefits and a lot that do virtually nothing. But there is one great recovery method that does work.

What is it? What’s this secret method to maximize your recovery?

Sleep.

Yep. That’s it. No matter what other recovery modalities you do, I can almost guarantee that, if you get one extra hour of sleep every night, you will recover from your workouts faster, get more out of them, and run better.

A few tips for good sleep:

Keep a consistent routine: The more consistent your sleep routine, including the time you go to sleep and wake up, the better your sleep quality will be.

Avoid screens close to bed time: The blue light screens emit affects melatonin production, which affects the quality of your sleep. It’s best to avoid screens in the hour before bed time. If you simply can’t for some reason, try to use a blue light filter. Most devices will have something built in these days. Otherwise, check your app store. On Android, I use both the built in “Night Light” and Twilight, an app available in the Play Store.

Note: Some people don’t think phones are a big problem because the screens are small but most people hold their phones so close to their faces that the phone is actually a bigger problem than a bigger screen that is kept farther away.

Do something relaxing before bed time: I know, evening time is seen by some runners as a convenient time to fit the run in. Unfortunately, working out shortly before bed time can keep your body in a high state of alertness and make it harder to fall asleep or get quality sleep. If you must do an evening workout, at least try to make it as early as possible so your body has time to wind down.

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