Follow us

Book Now

Claridge House, 53 Vincent St, Ararat, Victoria 3377      (03) 535 25611     |

Claridge House, 53 Vincent St, Ararat, Victoria 3377     |     (03) 5352 5611     |

Asset 1


Running: Part 2, Recovery

Just a quick update, I’ve reached the halfway point of my training program. As each morning becomes colder and darker, unfortunately so does my motivation. However, since I’ve gone public with this little goal of mine, I must succeed!

I’m now beginning to notice the importance of gradual overload in my own training. I’m now running longer distances than ever before and fortunately injury-free. I hope you were able to apply some of the principles discussed in part 1 of the blog series in your own running journey.

So, you’ve been for a run or completed some form of workout, you may wonder, what’s the next step? I am going to discuss the latest research in running recovery and what strategies you can implement in your training program. From hydration to sleep routines to foam rollers, I’ll give you the ‘run-down’.


The most important recovery strategy.

In a running program when there is overload occurring (increasing distance, speed, etc.) scheduled rest days are essential. Too often we see people cramming in their missed kilometres in the final weeks prior to their event to then develop an injury and miss out. When our bodies are stressed and overloaded through exercise, our muscles develop micro-tears and build up metabolic by-products – this is experienced by many and is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Symptoms involve muscle soreness and stiffness approximately 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. In small doses this is okay as it stimulates muscular growth and repair which in turn improves muscular strength and endurance. However, if there isn’t sufficient rest time for these adaptations to occur, an individual may face ’over-training’ and this increases the injury-risk or can result in conditions such as chronic fatigue. Examples of low-impact activities to include in a scheduled rest day include walking with a friend, gentle swimming, yoga, or simply just resting.

A fundamental aspect of rest is sleep.

Research has found that sleep is one of the most under-utilized training recovery strategies. Athletes like to follow the latest trends in recovery and spend countless dollars on high-tech gadgets to keep their bodies in tip-top condition. However simply increasing sleep duration can be highly effective. The recommendation for healthy adults is 7-9 hours of sleep per night but for those that are training this may increase to 9-10 hours. The Sleep Health foundation recommends the following sleep hygiene strategies to get a better night’s rest:
• Develop a sleep routine and be consistent – aim to jump in and out of bed at the same time every day (and yes, even on the weekends)
• Avoid excessive fluid intake 2 hours prior to sleep, especially caffeine and alcohol
• Optimise your bedroom environment – temperature, light and noise all impact your sleep quality
• Wind down and switch off – limit screen-time, practice relaxation techniques, read a book
You can find more information about sleep on the Sleep Health Foundation website.


There are various gadgets and gizmos out in the market claiming to speed up recovery and improve overall running performance. However, there is no one tool that helps everyone. There is some good evidence out there however most journal articles concluded that “more research is needed”. Therefore, it’s up to the individual and their preferences on what works for them in their recovery. I recommend the following:

Foam rollers

A portable, cost-effective, easy to use tool that can be used independently. It is a form of ‘self-myofascial release’ which is similar to a massage however the individual can control the pressure themselves. For runners, foam rolling is a valuable tool for warm-up and active cool-down and there is good evidence that foam rolling can improve flexibility (if performed consistently). There are no formal protocols however the following guided by evidence is suggested: 3-5 sets of 20-30 second, 3-5 times per week (for one area).

Compression garments

Tight compressive forms of clothing often made out of elastin and nylon. They can come in all kinds of shapes including sleeves, leggings, shorts and socks. There is some evidence that it aids recovery by increasing blood flow and waste product removal, reducing swelling and reducing post-exercise muscle soreness. Those who train often would benefit from wearing compression garments during and after exercise for maximal benefit.



Recovery nutrition helps to refuel the body, promote muscle repair and growth, and support immune function.

Nutrition protocol post-exercise depends a lot upon the individual’s training program, body composition goals and personal preferences. In general, high-quality carbohydrates and lean protein are recommended in the recovery phase. There is no one ‘gold-standard’ meal post-exercise and everyone’s appetites are different, and this is why we regularly refer clients to dieticians or nutritionists to assist in forming meal plans.

What we do know is that muscle repair and fuel store replacement occur most efficiently in the first 60-90 minutes after a bout of exercise. Thus, it is recommended that athletes consume a nutritious meal or snack within the first 30 minutes after exercise for the most efficient recovery.
Kelsey Weight, otherwise known as ‘Nurture Nutrition’ is a qualified dietician who offers an online dietician service. Kelsey strives to provide holistic healthcare and we are able to work alongside her to achieve your fitness goals.


Hydration should occur before, during and after a training session. The ideal fluid type and amount for exercise depends on an individual’s goals. Water is usually appropriate for any type of short activity, however once the intensity and duration start to build up alternative drinks may be required. This may include a sports drink which contain both carbohydrates and fluid to help hydrate and fuel the body at the same time, or a dairy-based fluid (i.e. smoothie, flavoured milk) for protein, carbohydrate, fluid and electrolyte consumption all in one hit. For those with heavy resistance training in their programs, protein powder and recovery shakes may also be useful.



The application of cold temperatures to the body to elicit a therapeutic effect. Cryotherapy has found to be effective in providing a natural analgesic and reducing inflammation, helping those who find themselves a little swollen or sore after a workout.

Cryotherapy can be applied in many ways such as ice-baths, ice-packs, plunge pools and even cold aerosol sprays. There is currently some debate about whether thermo-neutral (34-35degree) baths and are more effective in recovery than ice-baths and hopefully we see some conclusive evidence in the near future.


At Ararat Physio & Co we consider ourselves ‘recovery specialists’, whether that be rehabilitating a runner from an ankle sprain, managing a person’s insidious back pain, or helping a woman bounce back to exercise after pregnancy. Physiotherapists have a large knowledge base surrounding muscle recovery and can create a program tailored specifically for you and your goals. To facilitate recovery, physiotherapists can provide additional manual therapy (i.e. massage, joint mobilisations and manipulations, dry needling, acupuncture, cupping therapy) in order for you to get the best outcome in your training.

If you have any concerns about your own recovery and training programs, come see us in the clinic at Ararat Physio!

I’ll keep you updated on my running journey as I trudge through to the third part of the blog series which discusses common running injury management. Stay tuned!


Healthy But Smart. (2018). Do foam rollers actually work? A review of the evidence. Retrieved from
Science for Sport. (2016). Cold water immersion. Retrieved from
Science for Sport. (2016). Compression garments. Retrieved from
Sleep Health Foundation. (2018). Sleep Health Foundation Fact Sheets. Retrieved from
Sports Dietician Australia. (n.d.) Recovery Nutrition. Retrieved from

runningrecovery #overtraining #runningfatigue #runningmotivation #runningnutrition #cryotherapy #runningcryotherapy #sleep #sleepandrecovery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *