But will you be ready to do it again tomorrow?
Here’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way: The key to marathon training (really, any exercise) is recovery.
Recovery isn’t just about feeling better after a run … taking the kids to the park instead of collapsing on the couch. Recovery is a critical training element to boost future performance. Especially when you run 30-50 miles per week, which means running on successive days, you have to be able to meet each day’s run feeling fresh and energized. If I’m still tired or sore from yesterday’s workout, I won’t benefit as much from today’s workout. I may be injury-prone. I’ll probably be cranky.
So recovery is key. We need to provide our hard-working muscles everything needed to not only recover from today’s workout, but to be stronger for tomorrow’s workout.
Better Than Chocolate Milk
One of the changes I’ve made in my own training program — with a huge impact — is to immediately follow every hard workout with a recovery drink. Whether it’s a long Saturday morning run, or an 8-to-10-mile midweek run up and down a hilly course, I finish each workout by downing 12 ounces of Rebuild Endurance, a new product from Herbalife.
Last summer, I would typically finish a 20-mile run then come home and collapse in the hammock for a few hours. I was pretty useless the rest of the day. Sadly, I’ve noticed that, as I get older (I’m pushing uncomfortably close to the half-century mark), my body doesn’t bounce back from a workout the way it used to.
I started drinking chocolate milk after each run, based on the same theory that I needed a blend of carbs and proteins to successfully recover. Rebuild Endurance, however, takes that casual approach to a more sophisticated level and multiplies the effects. What a difference this year!
I’ve finished several 22-miles runs this summer in preparation for the Kansas City Marathon. Immediately after each workout, I drink Rebuild Endurance, and I spend the rest of the day grocery shopping, or doing chores around the house, or enjoying a family outing. The difference is remarkable. Not only do I feel better, but it makes easier for the rest of the family to tolerate my obsessive running regimen.
Best of all, I’ve gotten progressively stronger and faster over the summer by intensifying not only the quantity, but the quality of my workouts.
Carbs + Proteins
Carbohydrates plus proteins are needed to recover and rebuild muscle. Runners are usually mindful about replenishing carbs, but we don’t always get enough protein. Exercise causes the breakdown of muscle, and getting stronger means rebuiding fatigued muscle.
Rebuild Endurance contains a tri-core protein-amino blend of free amino acids, whey and casein proteins to rebuild muscle and speed recovery. Whey is metabolized quickly for an immediate delivery of amino acids. Casein supplies amino acids over several hours. In addition, 2,000 mg of L-Glutamine, an important amino acid that is lost during workouts, not only rebuilds muscle but supports immune function. Rebuild Endurance contains 1,000 mg of L-Carnitine, which aids muscle recovery and provides antioxidant support against free radical damage. Branched chain amino acids (L-Leucine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine) provide the building blocks of muscle and support muscle growth.
Rebuild Endurance also provides 27 grams of carbohydrates to help jumpstart glycogen replenishment and a blend of bioavailable (easily absorbed by our bodies) electrolytes — 250 mg of sodium, 325 mg of potassium, 100 mg of magnesium, 200 mg of calcium, as well as B vitamins. Rebuild Endurance is specifically designed for aerobic athletes, such as runners or cyclists or soccer players. The tasty vanilla-flavored supplement with all-natural colors, flavors and sweeteners has only 160 calories.
Herbalife also offers a chocolate-flavored recovery drink for athletes. Rebuild Strength is specifically designed to help weighlifters and those interested in enhancing body tone recover from demanding workouts. I’ll have more to say about Rebuild Strength in a future post.