Recovery from Strenuous Sports Performance Training

March 14, 2018

recovery outfit

What is recovery from strenuous sports performance training about? People who exercise regularly and play sports often spend a lot of time preparing careful sports performance training programmes. These focus on positively building all the areas of fitness and technique important to the successful conduct of their favorite activity. Some enthusiastic runners, cyclists and triathletes plan their year’s activities around participation in races (marathon, triathlon, etc) or hoping to perform maximally at each race. In the haste to go faster and stronger, an important aspect of training is often neglected: sports recovery. From the experience of successful athletes though (particularly those in endurance sports) more time spent on sports recovery leads to improvement in the quality of sports performance training as well as optimal results in competition.

What is Sports Recovery?

Exercise at all levels of intensity acts to do one thing to the body: it depletes it. The depletion involves your energy stores (muscle glycogen, blood glucose and fat products in your blood), hormones, and muscle structures. In other words, you use up the body’s valuable resources as you exercise and something must be done to replace them.

In order to return to training and to continue conditioning your body to meet your exercise goals, it is

important to create time and take active steps to bring about a re-building of the depleted body resources. This is what sports recovery is all about: the conscious action to help the body return to its optimal exercise state. This is especially important if you are intending to exercise intensively or for long durations soon after an exhausting bout. This could be endurance programme training, multi-stage bike race, or sports competitions that are only 2-4 weeks apart

Why bother with Sports Recovery?

In the very simplest terms you need to bother with sports recovery to keep you physically exercising at the level that you want to. Even more importantly, to allow the body’s systems to re-charge sufficiently that your mental edge remains honed to that fine sharpness you desire. A blunted edge comes about from insufficient recovery and can come back to haunt you in these ways: staleness, loss of interest, reduced physical ability, decreased sports performance training tolerance. Yes indeed, the first steps towards over-training.

A good approach to sports recovery will ensure that the quality of your sports performance training and competition is high. This will contribute to you feeling satisfied with your efforts and achievements, and bring about continued confidence in your chosen endurance sport. Good recovery also enables you to exert a greater overall sense of control of your sports performance training destiny!

When should I think about Sports Recovery?

You should consider sports recovery at both macro- and micro-levels. An example of a macro level would be a period of sports performance training preparation time (e.g. a week or month), or the period between competitions on your race calendar. A micro-level consideration would be after a single very hard or exhaustive work-out.

At the macro level, the depletion of resources will have arisen as a systematic and progressive wearing away that parallels your rigorously planned training program. It is not the single mind-blowing training session that is involved here but rather the accumulated effect of all the sessions combined, and possibly inclusive of the race. While a single sports performance training session may leave you feeling fatigued, the depletion of body resources over a period of time (it can be as short as a week or as long as months) will leave you feeling that your ability to physically exert yourself is a little blunted. Your legs feel heavy and tired, and are unable to sustain prolonged effort in the way they used to.

The micro recovery level answers the body’s aching need following that supremely challenging sports

performance training session, back-to-back training sessions in some training camp, or the actual huge

effort put into a competitive event (e.g. marathon running) . The latter involves not just the event itself but also the mental stress, increased adrenaline surges, and even mundane activities such as travel to the competition venue.

What are the steps I should take to recover properly?

Ensure that you take account of your macro and micro needs. Maintain an awareness of these using a

sports performance training /race calendar that allows you to visually assess the training and competition phases you are going through. Akin to the periodisation approach to training, this will help you to plan for recovery periods and make these an integral part of your sports performance training plan. Now consider the elements of the recovery: nutrition, structure regeneration, inflammation reduction, hormonal, and mental. Make plans for each of these.

Nutrition involves replacing the resources that you have used up in your prodigious attempts to go faster and stronger. This includes particular emphasis on replacing the following nutritional components: carbohydrates to re-build muscle glycogen for muscle recovery, and minerals and electrolytes to make up for loss in your sweat. The best time to re-build glycogen stores is within the first 3 hours after sports performance training as this is when the rate of glycogen storage is highest. Such storage remains elevated in the next 21 hours but not at the same rate as during what has been called the “critical re-energising window.” There is scientific evidence to suggest that the very first hour after your exercise bout is actually the time that your body responds best to glycogen replenishment.

However, for some athletes, there are barriers that need to be overcome to meet this immediate post-

exercise nutrition need. This includes not feeling hungry or not having the correct nutrition available.

Positive steps must be taken to overcome these. Have nutrition available. If you can’t stomach eating, then drink your nutrition (energy drinks, carbohydrate mixes). Find nutritional sources that agree with you, and use these.

If you are quite lean (meaning your body fat content is low), you should also ensure that your energy

replacement includes a balanced diet that has FAT and protein in it. Your overall energy needs are higher than someone who has not discovered long distance runs or triathlon training yet (poor people). So meet your higher energy needs and balance the sources of your energy: about 50-60 % from carbohydrates, 15% from protein, and up to 30% from fat.

Reducing your physical exercise is a good idea for 4-5 days after a punishing race. This does not mean

just lying around doing nothing, although that may be the order of the first day or so after competing. You will want to spend time actively stretching those tired and tight muscles, and by the 4th or 5th day, a light spin on the bike or some easy laps will help to keep your mind happy while you rest the muscles, tendons, joints and bones of your body. This is what is called “relative rest” with components of “active recovery.”

The sports recovery period is a useful time to catch up with equipment maintenance matters. And in the long run, these really do matter. Clean the sea water out of your running shoes, wash your bike and take it to the shop for a tune-up, wash those hard-worn heart rate monitor straps and, so on.

Finally, there is massage. Do I detect some glee out there? The aim of massaging tired aching muscles is to relieve the tension that has built up in the muscles, as well as to assist in the removal of chemical

substances that build up during exercise and as a result of cell activity. So, just as top cycling teams bring their own masseuses to races (especially cycling tour competitions), you can help your body along with some judiciously administered massage. And if aches or pain persist, perhaps there is an injury that needs some attention from your sports doctor. The recovery period is a great time to have this managed, to deliver you in optimal shape as you return to training again.

All in all then, sports recovery is not something which every athlete thinks about, and some do it better

than others. It’s something you should invest your effort into as much as you do your sports performance training preparations. It is an integral part of restoring your body to a condition which allows you to enjoy regular and continuous challenging training and competition.


  • Michael Corp March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I watched a video yesterday, thank to Facebook, of Russel promoting his work. Being a new comer, again, I search for any escape from the pain I have manifested. after watching my head plunges into over drive and completely obsessing over the need to act compulsively cause I need a fix and I am scared to death of contributing to my pain by turning to what has obviously made my life unmanageable. so I utilize my powerlessness and hop on the interracial limousine, with my all month VIP pass, that my Probation Officer provided me after I was released from jail last month and head to the nearest Barnes and Nobles-which is a hop skip and a jump away. I arrive with absolutely no money in my pocket, in fact I had only a lighter in case I found a fella to give me a cigarette after I nicely manipulated him to do so, to go along with my wallet that mommy bought me from our church in hopes their neon ideology beliefs would rub off and change me in some hocus pocus manner or such. With no intention of purchasing anything what so ever regardless of my current financial position I start shopping as if I was given the gift of unlimited literature. I ask the happy go getter with a name tag and head set to direct me to this satisfaction of my obsession. Not only does he bring me to my desired want but informs me of the other gifts the author has for me. I happen to see the Alchemist too, which is a beautiful read I have taken from many establishments and gifted to other's- probably for the fact that it's an easy read, full of life and small; plus you don't have to continuously lick your fingers trying to flip the pages given it's Rumi style cut. Then I see The Mountain Shadow, a sequel to Shantaram, which I was unable to complete on my last county vacation and had to have it as well. Now that I look like a square bellied Santa I thank the nice gentleman at the door, inform him I was completely unaware of the expense of such a compulsion and walk out with a smile like a card cheat getting over on the strip. I return home to my overly inhabitated sober living which a collaboration of courts has paid for with an overly erected pulse throbbing release and begin my journey to some fucking freedom. This book is fucking beautiful and I completely recommend obtaining a copy my any means necessary, especially if you are some what or completely fucked as I am. Have a beautiful sun shiny day and God bless you all

  • Richard Conner March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm


  • richard griffiths March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    This guy sounds like Jason Mohammed.. Keep waiting for him to head live to Wigan to speak to Dickie Davies.

  • Open your Mind; Be like Water March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    So true, the need for human connection is one of the greatest things that kept my addiction going. Russell Brand you are inspirational for sharing your truth, Thank You.

  • Hasan Ali March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Hey everyone, the best results that I have had was with the Sebs Magic Tactic (i found it on google) without a doubt the no.1 idea i've followed.

  • Daniel M March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Hahaha! Great observation at the end Russ. I noticed your reactions after you'd stop speaking and Brad would carry on to the next question.

  • Daniel M March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks man. Love ya buddy.

  • Michael Reddin March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Mr brand is using big words and the other guy who knows voilence is trying to understand and use big words both of them are confusing each other moral of tte story two nuts never made a spanner

  • faith anderson March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    How can the same intelligence on a scholarly level, understand each other. If one surpasses another on an life-experience-based level of intelligence. ( Learned v.s Experience based intelligence.) No points will ever connect on an un-balanced level of perception/intelligence.)

  • Kimberly Smith March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Russell. It's wonderful to see you and hear you. You do much good with your programs.

  • Samantha Guyatt March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    nuts love ya

  • Dave Hossack March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Doing the ''STEPS'' is like training to become a JEDI Be a JEDI!! Recovery is worth it

  • LauraDeane March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    His commentary on Johann Hari's "rat park" around 30mins got me to laugh, hehe

  • Anna Skräddar March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    "We aren't human beings, we are human becomings."

    So much trust and hope in this. Beautiful observation.

  • Cheyenne King March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Russell. I admire you, your work, your brain, your candor, your wit, your sass and your good heart. Thank u for having a great channel. Hugs from Cheyenne King in Minnesota. ❤️❤️

  • Gatervision Videos March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I like your new hairstyle

  • Angel heaven March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I am in sex and love recovery, this is a short esoteric expression of my story and the way I condense help to myself and other unconscious and conscious people, I wrote this a couple of months ago and I am so relieved to share my story and preach it out a bit to let the hopeless know there is a way out of the hell jail of addiction, alcohol,sex,love and spending this is a help book from me a 30 years of being a member of 12 step programs, please buy it and share it its extremely int and its only a short snippet to what I am writing in the future. My 2 books are called: How to recover and my 2nd one and most recent is called the magic of prayer, meditation is a major part of my recovery, without meditation I would be not at peace and happiness as I feel now. please also check out my youtube channel angel heaven catherine weiss meditations, thank you.

  • sujester suester March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Never a drug addict, liar !

  • Brittberrycrush March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I’ve watched so many of Brand’s interviews, pod casts etc. He inspires me in so many ways. He’s in one of my favorite people. I’d love to meet him for a talk one day.

  • ShaneReinert March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Russell, I know this is a long shot but would you be interested in being interviewed for my video series The Addiction Series?

  • And She Was March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I`m so happy Russell cleaned up his act. What a terrible mind to waste.

  • Steve Peridotdragon March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Much  Repect   &  love Russell. I'm not gay ……….Peace…… Bro

  • Cara Ingram March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks , I think struggling with addiction or not everyone has something to take from this

  • Val Catt March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Been there, done that, right? Ah yes, you had to be there. Meditation therapy for addiction. Excellent!

  • Gillian Greenhough March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I watched this for the first time whist in rehab for alcoholism with a very diverse group of people who all learnt from it along side therapy and group sessions. I'm watching it again now out of the rehab bubble and im still learning more again. When a person promotes the 12 steps in such a passionate, non preachy way it can only inspire. Well appreciated.

  • Brian Kadmiri March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Russell…. I completely resonate with everything you talk you about and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your service to humanity. It is a clear indication to me, that you and I have a great deal in common, and I for one <> would like to sol-ute you! However…. there is one thing I would like to ask, that I haven't heard you discuss yet… and please, if you have and I've missed it somewhere, enlighten me. Please click this link and read the entire page and if you would be so kind, when you're not too busy… I would like to hear your thoughts. Blessings brother <> :). This to me, is by far…. THE most important topic there is when it pertains to ADDICTION.


    Excellent community service! Uplifting and inspirational!

  • Rahmah BEG March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm


  • Gabriela Gutierrez March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you Russell!

  • Mia W March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    You are basically already my sponsor coz if I have a challenge, what I do is search a video of yours and somehow which ever one I pick in that moment, helps me deal with what I am facing at that time. 👐
    Your words take me beyond all my challenges 🙌
    Viva le Russell Brand and my connection to you.

  • Mia W March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Please be my sponsor 😭

  • Marzia Valente March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm
  • ThomasAlexander Burke March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Russell, I'd love your support for my campaign to help the mental health crisis. Please take a look if you get the chance. Lots of love & God bliss, Thomas

  • PumpkinPie March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    get a tripod bro

  • THEHEARTATTACKDONS March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    12 SPEEDS of AA is way t ogo fuck the 12 steps

  • THEHEARTATTACKDONS March 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    The best AA speaker is heartattackdons

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