Grueling, intensive training is what defines being an endurance athlete. This summer has been relentless to local endurance athletes in Kansas City training for events. The heat index has surpassed 100 degrees on several occasions and the humidity is constant during the summer. Your success depends on conditioning your body to go farther and faster in the Kansas City heat. From marathon runners to triathletes, performing at a high intensity for hours on end is what makes your sport unique among others.
One of the most overlooked aspects of endurance training is recovery after exercise. Many endurance athletes underestimate the importance of various recovery techniques, especially the importance of well-timed nutrition. Without proper recovery, progress from training is made at a much slower pace.
Why should recovery receive extra attention?
Training takes a serious toll on your body. Muscles are broken down and weakened, your glycogen supply is exhausted, and sweating depletes your body of water and electrolytes.
- Strengthens your muscles, which reduces your risk of injury.
- Helps prevent overtraining.
- Keeps your immune system strong.
- Replenishes fluids, glycogen and electrolytes.
- Prepares you mentally and physically for your next training session.
- Allows you to increase training frequency, so you reach your athletic goals sooner.
Training programs gradually increase volume and/or distance over a few months to build endurance. Without proper recovery between training sessions, muscle soreness, stiffness and mental fatigue can keep you from staying on schedule. If you’re ramping up your effort for an upcoming event, poor recovery can decrease how often you train or the quality of your training sessions, both of which leave you unprepared come race day.
The bottom line : If you choose the endurance athlete lifestyle, proper recovery is a key factor in your success.
Parts of this article were provided by Kevin Klumpyan, Co-founder of Push Endurance (www.pushendurance.com). Push Endurance is a partner of Man Versus Triathlon and Kevin has developed his own drink supplement called Push Endurance.