Thursday, August 30, 2012


Racing an ultra is hard on the body. 

I had an interesting conversation with a friend at work about recovery.  No, he is not a runner - He is a body builder.  He has been training and studying how to build muscle for 25+ years.  Of course building muscle is all about recovery.

The conversation was specifically around how to recover from muscle pummeling events like 24-48 hour race or 100 mile events, but could really apply to any race where we beat ourselves up badly.

It came down to a couple pretty simple concepts:  You need a heightened amount of protein and fat to repair muscle.  Muscle has a very large percentage of water to it, so hydration needs to be above average to help with the repair and to restore the muscle health. Carbohydrates place in this process is more as a facilitator and is only needed in moderate amounts. 

In the recovery days after a hard race we really do not need an abundance of carbohydrates, normal eating along with low activity level will rebuild glycogen stores quickly.

So here is my plan for the next major race recovery:  Take 800-1,000 calories (200-250 grams) of whey protein daily to supplement my normal "Low Activity Level" eating, take 2-3 table spoons of natural peanut butter for the fat source and hydrate above average.  My total calorie goal would be approximately 3,000 per day = break even after adding 2 easy walks per day to get the blood flowing to damaged areas.

When I get some time, I will start looking for research on this subject as this plan is from a water cooler conversation. 

Good running to all -

PS - I already frequently use whey protein to supplement my protein needs after really hard workouts or when I know I ate very little protein at the end of the day and I am too lazy to get it from another source.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, MTP.

    This might be a good read when you get the time...ran across it on the ultra list.