Tag Archives: crossfit

5 Parts of a Good Cool Down

Warming up before working out is important and doing a good one can be the difference between a decent workout and a great one. Unfortunately, many people neglect a proper cool down, which can also make or break the next day’s workout.  Just like warming up gets muscles ready to work hard, letting your body cool off afterwards helps muscle start to recover.  Here are five parts of a good cool down plan.

Decrease stress:  Your heart and muscles are working hard during a workout.  Your heart rate is high, your blood vessels are expanded and adrenaline is pumping.  Abruptly dropping the amount of work your body has to do from 10 to 0 can lead to pooling of the blood in those expanded vessels, dizziness, nausea and, in extreme cases, fainting.  A good cool down includes time for your heart rate to slowly return to normal with low intensity activity.

Hydration:  If you worked up a sweat, you’ll need to replace the fluids you lost as soon as you can.  During your cool down, work to quench your thirst by taking in up to 32 ounces of fluid.  Your fluid of choice can be water, chocolate milk or sports drink.  Replenishing your fluids should include electrolytes to replace the salt you sweated out as part of the drink or as an additional tab dropped in.

Food:  Eat within 30 minutes of a workout.  The same way your cool down is a good time to fill back up on fluids, it’s a nice time to plan what’s next on your plate.  Your muscles will be craving protein for rebuilding torn fibers and carbs to fuel the process for both today’s and tomorrow’s workouts.cool down

Mobility:  Doing mobility exercises in an integral part of a good cool down.  Foam rolling, stretching and other drills will all kickstart the recovery process.  Each one will aid in clearing lactic acid from tired muscles, breaking up adhesions and getting the nutrition muscles need to them.  Adding one or more of these activities to your post workout routine will not only help you feel ready for the next day’s session, it will help you perform better, too.

Reflection:  A good cool down will give you time to chat with workout partners, evaluate how the session went and what you improved or need to work on next time.  This can be a perfect time to journal, practice breathing exercises or improve mobility.

Take these five tips with you to your nest workout and have a good cool down.  These simple things will help you feel better before, during and after your future workouts.

Coach Meredith

Strength Training As A Runner

Strength training as a runner is a hotly debated topic.  How much to do, when to do it, what kind to do?  No matter what your answer is, at the most basic level, strength training as a runner makes sense.  The more powerful your legs are, the more force they can put into the ground with each step.  This means you’ll be able to propel further forward at a faster rate without any increased effort.  The stronger your core is the better your running form will be.  If you’re not including muscle building activities in your training plan, you’ll miss out on all the bone density increasing, injury preventing, faster running and better form benefits it provides.

If strength training as a runner has so many benefits, what’s the problem?  Most runners aren’t sure how to add these types of workouts to already packed training schedules and end up leaving it out altogether.  This can lead to unwanted muscle imbalances, injuries and plateaus in race times.  Luckily, there are lots of ways to add strength training to your routine that won’t cramp your program and the best news is there aren’t any hard and fast rules for strength training as a runner (other than you have to do it!).  strength training as a runner

Want to try running in deep sand?  Requiring 60% more effort than running on pavement, that slippery sand works your calves, feet and ankles overtime as they try to stay stable on a moving surface.

How about Crossfit?  High intensity strength building workouts can replace easy ‘junk’ miles with lots benefits.  Increased bone density, mobility and balance will all make your more durable and prevent common overuse injuries.

Plyometrics and other body weight exercises are fantastic ways to build a better runner.  Burpees, box jumps, push-ups, pull-ups and jump rope require little space and a small strength training as a runnerinvestment in equipment.  Running hills counts, too, especially if you don’t have the beach to run on.

Mobility work and yoga is must for any runner, even if it’s just a foam roller followed by a few sequences at home.  Aiding in recovery, stretching and massaging will help muscles recover from workouts as well as eliminate imbalances that can lead to injury or poor form.

Get stronger and lower race times by using these tips for strength training as a runner to start today!

Coach Meredith