Training hard is great, and necessary to improve your paddling to a good level but its not the only thing you need to get dialled in. You need to be able to recover from the sessions you do, then you’ll come back stronger and fitter and able to train even more. We’ve compiled a top tips list of the key things to consider
Getting enough sleep is critical to recovering. The optimal amount seems to vary between individuals, but 8 hours is the standard recommendation (wherever that came from!). Maybe more important is the quality of your sleep, having a dark room helps as does sticking to a regular sleeping schedule, relaxing before going to bed and avoiding looking at screens close to bed time. Whilst you’re asleep you get growth hormone and testosterone releases, vital for strength and fitness gains, and nervous system (CNS) recovery which is vital for technical improvements. Taking magnesium before bed can help to calm you down and relax your muscles, I personally like taking a zinc and magnesium combination (ZMA) which helps a lot with sleep quality.
Massage, foam rolling and stretching
They are all a bit different but do similar jobs, trying to improve tissue quality and keep aches and pains at bay. Massage and foam rolling are types of soft tissue work, of which there are many more, that aim to reduce excessive tightness in your muscles and break down adhesions and trigger points. Getting a massage is expensive but can make you feel much better, but most of the time I just stick to foam rolling to get some of the similar benefits. Rolling is a great addition to your gym warm-ups and makes most people feel much better, even if the science of exactly how hasn’t really been worked out yet.
Static stretching can reduce muscle power output if done before training so I tend to stretch in the evening, when you can take advantage of the fact it is relaxing since it activities the parasympathetic nervous system. Continue reading