Importance of Recovery!

Sabrina Lopez, age 24, is a Cross Country and Track and Field athlete with a career full of achievements and a huge passion for running.  From 2007-2009, she competed for OSU in the PAC 10 and earned All-West Regional honors in Cross Country.  For the next three years, Sabrina competed at Cal State Los Angeles in Cross Country and Track & Field.  During her time at CSULA, Sabrina was an All-CCAA honoree in Cross Country and the team’s MVP her senior year.  She served as captain of the CSULA Track and Field team for two years, and was CCAA Conference Champion in the 10,000 meters.  Today, she is sponsored by Skechers Performance, and is working towards her goal to compete at the Olympics.

Although it often goes overlooked, recovery is an essential part of any athlete’s training program.  As a seasoned athlete, Sabrina takes her training very seriously, and has learned to make recovery a key component of her training regimen.

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Recovery

When it comes to training, I take recovery very seriously. We are constantly pushing our bodies to the point of exhaustion, and often forget about the importance of the recovery process. A wise man once told me, “your recovery days are just as important as your hard days…”

There was a time in my life where I would give every ounce of energy I had for every run. I never wanted to run slow. As a result, I found myself constantly fatigued with low energy. The workouts I used to complete with ease started getting harder and more uncomfortable. Following this experience, I decided to take the wise man’s advice and take my recovery days more seriously. I was amazed at the results I found after a couple weeks of running easy after my hard days. I had more energy, my tempos were getting faster without having to increase my effort, and I felt alive. If we do not allow out bodies to recuperate after we trash them, how do we expect to get stronger?

The reason we work out is to break down our muscle fibers, so that they can grow back stronger and handle a heavier load. These muscle fibers will never get the chance to grow back stronger if we don’t allow them to. If you are constantly doing hard workouts, your muscle fibers may continue to break down.  This can reduce the amount of force the muscle can produce, ultimately making it less powerful. As you can see, recovery days are crucial to the training and success of an athlete.

There are a variety of apparel products designed to improve recovery for athletes. Personally, I prefer the Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves. I wear my Zensah sleeves during my recovery days, after hard days, and even during/after my long runs. Now some of you might wonder how compression aids in recovery. Some studies show that compression can increase blood circulation, which helps flush out lactic acid from tired muscles to improve performance.  Your body naturally removes the lactic acid from your muscles, but a little help never hurt anybody J.  That is why I love wearing Zensah’s Compression Leg Sleeves and Socks, and why recovery is such an important asset to one’s training program.