Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On Kenyans' Recovery

Olly Freeman and Will Clarke recovering between sessions
Back to the last weeks Let's Run week in review from the previous post:

Jordan Rapp @rappstar pointed out another piece from the review on recovery from training:

"The Kenyan model, however, demonstrates a new level of achievement in the field of recovery. After a run and a meal Sally collapses over the couch and does not move until it's time to run again."
from #5 Julia Lucas On Kenyans' Recovery: Sally Kipyego The Dark Fast Cat
Many 'western' elite athletes, especially in a relatively wealthy sport like triathlon, have trouble with this type of recovery - just sitting and doing very little before the next session. Particularly those pros living the triathlon 'lifestyle' who are always on the way to another appointment between training sessions, or another coffee shop visit, and who generally live and breathe triathlon 24/7.

'Recovery' is the latest training buzz word, requiring all sorts of active interventions and devices like compression machines that costs thousands. However doing nothing requires very little energy and the price is right, requiring only the ability to relax and to be content doing so. This is one reason for the 'training camp effect', including altitude camps - being away from the home environment removes many distractions and particularly in the 'boring' camp locations that I favour - there is really very little to do or be done beyond the basics: train, eat, sleep, repeat. Pure focus on doing the training and absorbing the work. Athletes who are based in their home environment more often than away in camps would do well to find ways to incorporate this old school recovery method. Keep it simple.

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