©roguerunning.comYou will find that some recovery techniques work better for you than do others. Techniques vary with the individual.
Most of these techniques speed recovery by slightly increasing the heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles, accelerating the inflow of nutrients, reducing soreness, lowering blood pressure and relaxing the nervous system.
Hot Shower or Bath
Immediately following the cool-down and recovery drink, take a hot shower or bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not linger, especially in the bathtub, as you will dehydrate even more.
One of the best recovery methods is to pedal or swim easily for 15 to 30 minutes several hours after a hard workout, or race and before going to bed. The intensity should be extremely light with the heart rate very low.
Other than sleep, most athletes fing a massage by a professional massage therapist is the most effective recovery technique. A post-race massage should employ long, flushing strokes to speed the removal of the waste products of exercise. Deep massage at this time may actually increase trauma. After 36 hours, the therapist may apply greater point pressure, working more deeply.
Relax and Stetch
Be lazy for several hours and days after a big event. Your body wants quality rest. Provide it by staying off your feet whenever possible. Never stand when you can leasn against something. Sit down whenever possible. Better yet, lay on the floor with your feet elevated against a wall or furniture. Sit on the floor and stretch gently. Overused muscles tighten and can't seem to relax on their own. This is the best right after hot bath or sauan, and just before going to bed.