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  • Writer's picturerganderson915

My Recovery Recipe


I took it easy during April. No racing, no serious training, and unfortunately no blogging, but it’s back!

For training in April, I do activities that sound fun on any given day, and take days off when I feel like it. This year, April included more skiing than usual because I had access to pristine, mid-winter conditions on my trip to Alaska, but it also included a lot of slow mornings, off days, and when in doubt, choosing rest over training.

Spending April with less daily structure is nice for a couple reasons - 1. it feels like a big and welcome change after ski season, and 2. it gets old. By the end of April I’m always craving the structure of getting back into training and working toward something, which is a good feeling.

Just because recovery month is over does not mean recovery is over, of course. I’ll share a couple of the things I swear by for good recovery throughout the year. What’s nice about these practices is that they benefit everyone, not just nordic skiers. They may sound obvious, but good recovery is pretty simple - not reinventing any wheels over here.

1. Food

I always have a drink mix (Tailwind) in my water when training sessions are 1hr+. I eat every hour or so, or whenever I feel like it, snack immediately after the workout, and have a good balanced meal when I get home. These practices help me avoid bonking, make the workouts better quality, and speed up recovery. I felt a big difference when I started getting more disciplined about these things.

2. Shower

I used to be skeptical about the necessity of this ritual, but a quick rinse immediately after a workout really helps me relax and start the recovery process sooner. I’ve noticed a big difference now that I’ve made it a priority to shower right away instead of putting it off.

3. Sleep

You probably know sleep is important, but another secret to success (not really a secret) is getting to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time too. The only way I feel truly rested when I wake up is by getting on a consistent schedule. I also nap most days between training sessions, around 30 minutes, nothing crazy.

4. Mind off

This one is important, and I think probably the most overlooked. In between training sessions, I try to have some time where my mind is fully off! Not on my phone, not watching anything or reading, not socializing. Even if it’s short, taking a small amount of time to zone out is great for calming down the nervous system and switching into recovery mode. I’ve noticed that when I’m stressed, or when my mind is on go-mode all day, I am a lot more tired. Again, not rocket science, but easy to overlook as a part of good training. I’m choosing not to use the word meditation, because when I think of it as meditation I don’t do it.

5. Socializing

I’m pretty social, so when I read about the hormonal benefits of socializing on recovery I was pumped. The basic idea is that being in a positive social environment after exercise can get some good chemicals going in your body which can help recovery - this is no science blog so if you’re interested in the details (or a fact check) I’d recommend google. The key word is *positive* social environment, though. Whether it’s training partners, one good friend, roommates, a big group, or maybe even a dog, I don't think the details matter as long as they make you feel happy and relaxed!

I like this because sometimes I feel like I should rush home to start recovering after a workout, but sometimes hanging around to talk to friends is not only nice, but actually helpful. I choose to believe that, anyway!

Bonus: Sauna - I love using saunas whenever possible. I feel like jello in the best way after, and they help me sleep!

I feel like I am able to handle a lot when I’m doing all of these things right, and I hope they can help you too.

Thanks for reading.


Couch time with my cousin and her dogs :)

Happy place

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