Active Recovery (Recipe: Enchiladas)

We have all been told that recovery is a crucial component of training.  However, most runners allow either too much or too little time for recovery.  The best approach is “active recovery”.

I often get told that I run too much.  My training plans often call of 6 days of running and 1 day of rest.  However, studies have shown that much of the time an easy run can actually help speed up the recovery process following a hard run (a hard run could either be a long run or a high intensity run).  An easy run can increase the blood flow in the legs which helps flush out the lactic acid building up in your muscles.  Easy runs can also cut down on muscle soreness.

So how can you implement active recovery?  Active recovery is merely about getting your legs moving and keeping yourself ready for your next workout while still allowing the muscles to repair.  You could run a few easy miles after a long run or ride a bike at a leisurely pace.  Cross-training is a great way to enhance aerobic fitness, and it does not stress the body in the same way that running does.  USATF and RRCA-certified running coach Brendan Cournane adds, “Cross-training can also work different muscle groups, which aids the runner in his or her running performance.”

Furthermore, light exercise after a hard workout can also teach your body to burn its fuel more efficiently.  If you do active recovery, your body adapts to burn glycogen more slowly which helps preserve stores when you are nearing the end of a race.

However, in the end, when it comes to the amount of actual rest versus active recovery, it always depends on the individual runner.  You want to push yourself but not to the extreme.  It’s all about finding a healthy balance.

Oh!  I forgot to update you on my January running mileage!  I ran 126.42 miles in January compared to 174.04 miles in December.  The decrease was because of the taper.  So far, I have logged a womping ONE mile in February.  But don’t worry, more miles are to come!

That one mile was logged this morning.  On the treadmill.  After driving through somewhat hazardous conditions to get to the gym.  (It snowed again last night.) I even apologized to the man who was driving behind me to the gym, explaining that I had spent 26 years of my life in South Carolina/Virginia.  He told me he didn’t even notice I was driving like a grandma.  I think he was just being nice.

In other gym news, when I did get on the treadmill today, the older gentleman (it’s mostly older people at the gym at 5am) who is nearly always on the treadmill next to me said, “You are back on your treadmill!  Now everything is normal again!”  I guess he must have missed me. 🙂

Quote of the Day:

“Play not only keeps us young but also maintains our perspective about the relative seriousness of things.  Running is play, for even if we try hard to do well at it, it is a relief from everyday cares.” -Jim Fixx

So, I am not much of a beef person.  Or a person who loves Mexican food.  But I was convinced to try Enchiladas.  We made some with beef and some with leftover pulled pork (a recipe that I haven’t posted yet–oops!).  And they were surprisingly really tasty!! 🙂  I’m venturing out of my comfort zone here!!

DSC_4577 DSC_4579 Enchilada

Enchiladas

Ingredients

– 1 lb lean ground beef (we used grass fed, and we also used pulled pork!)

– 1 can enchilada sauce (we used the pre-packaged mix that you boil with water until thickened)

– 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

– 1 onion, diced

– Garlic salt

– Sour cream

– Corn tortillas

Directions

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F*.

– In a heavy saucepan or skillet, brown the ground beef. Season the ground beef mixture with garlic salt and set aside.

– Warm the tortillas between two damp paper towels in the microwave.  Spoon some meat, cheese and onions into the center of each tortilla along with a dollop of enchilada sauce.

– Roll them up and arrange them in a 9×13 inch baking dish.  Pour the enchilada sauce over the rolled enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.

– Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.  Add a dollop of sour cream before serving!

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