Recovery after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair and strength building.  Here Are 5 Key Recovery Tips For Endurance Athletes.

Top 5 Recovery Methods for Runners and Triathletes

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Kris Lawrence is an elite marathoner with a goal of qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.  On her blog,, she writes, "...I’ve made a promise to myself to give it my all, accept the good and hard times, appreciate all those who support me, and enjoy every moment along the way..."  Her positive attitude, perseverance and dedication to her training have helped her cut her marathon time from 3:16:24 to 2:47:09 in just a few short years.  

Learning To Listen To Your Body

If you run/train long enough you've probably had your fair share of "niggles" (pains) or injuries.  It's a part of training, an unfortunate byproduct of the sport that we love (and hate) so much.  Unfortunately, Kristin suffered a slight tibia (shinbone) fracture, which set her training back 9 weeks.  If you've ever had a fracture you know how painful, and annoying, this injury can be.  

When it comes to marathon training Kristin says, "Marathon training is like putting together a 1000 piece puzzle. You know what you want the end result to look like but when you dump the pieces out of the box, it’s entirely overwhelming.  You keep working anyway and every once in awhile you look and realize you have a part of that picture made and it starts to make sense..."  

Having a plan and listening to your body are two key components when it comes to training.  Kristin is healthy again and back on her training program for the Boston Marathon.  Kristin's training program consists of stretching, core work, strength training, tempo runs, easy mileage building runs and recovery.

Focusing On Recovery

Running fast workouts and putting in hard efforts is a key part of the training process. However, one of the most often neglected aspects of training, especially since runners are almost always obsessed with pushing harder each day, is the recovery process.

What sets elites apart from amateurs is the amount of time and effort invested in recovering properly. As an elite runner, Kristin knows that hydrating properly, before and after her runs, is a key component to her recovery.  

You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Consuming an electrolyte substance post-workout is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.

After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercises day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 30-60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates. A diet of essential proteins and amino acids can help repair muscle tissue and help avoid injury and reduce muscle soreness. There are 8 essential amino acids that are not produced naturally in the body, but need to be replaced by foods or through daily supplements. Here is an article by on nutrition recovery for endurance athletes .

Kristin, and other elites will tell you the most important thing you can do to recover quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a hard workout, you don't have to force yourself to go slow.

If you pay attention, in most cases, your body will let you know what it needs when it needs it.

As a runner it's important to eat foods that will properly fuel your training. Here's a list of some delicious foods that will offer you the greatest health benefits in the long run!

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There Was Just One Major Change To Her Training

When Christine Yu decided to run the Philadelphia Half Marathon, she pulled out the training plan that her friend created for her to prepare for the San Francisco Half Marathon and started running.  She didn’t change the plan at all – 3 runs per week, strength training, yoga and rest. 

The one major change to her training regime during the last month leading up to race days was she started adding a daily routine of vitamin and mineral supplements to her training routine.

Hear Christine Tell It...

Christine set the record straight in her blog  We shared her comments here:

Let me be upfront. I don’t take supplements. I don’t even take a multivitamin (I know, I know. I should.) I occasionally use protein powder in my smoothies. That’s it.

The main reason I don’t take supplements is because I’ve never felt that it was necessary. I should be able to get the nutrients I need from a well-rounded diet. Plus, it wasn’t like I was a serious athlete and that my dietary intake wouldn’t be able to keep up with my body’s needs. And I would always forget to take whatever vitamin/supplement I was supposed to when I was supposed to.

So it took some convincing to decide to try Enduropacks. Knowing that I was training for Philly, I thought it was a good opportunity to test it out.

Vitamin and mineral replacement is key for endurance athletes to stay healthy and recover faster. But how do you ensure that you're giving your body what it needs? EnduroPacks has created a convenient system designed to do just that. From someone who is skeptical of supplements and vitamins, I was surprised at my results.

Stay Healthy Recover FasterWhat is it?  EnduroPacks is a daily pre-, during- and post-workout system of vitamins and minerals. Since depleted vitamin and mineral levels mean sub-par performance, an increased potential for injury, and reduced recovery rate, EnduroPacks is designed to replaces essential vitamins and minerals so that your body can maintain immune system health and proper nutrition as well as improve muscle recovery while reducing soreness.

I used the system as recommended, minus a few days where I forgot to take one part of the system or didn’t apply the amino patch right after working out. Since I don’t carry water with me on most of my runs, I used the spray in my post-run water immediately upon returning home.
I was concerned about using the patch since I have sensitive skin. While it didn’t irritate me a lot, I did have to rotate the location where I applied the patch so that my skin wouldn’t become itchy. The patch can also leave behind a little residue (like a price sticker that you can’t quite peel off cleanly).

After taking a 30-day course, here are the benefits I noticed:

  1. Good runs: I run three days a week because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve recognized that my body needs a little extra rest. Even with the extra downtime, many of my runs often feel labored, and it takes a while for my legs to come to life. Like 5 out of 6 miles. While taking EnduroPacks, I can honestly say that I had many more good runs than bad. My legs never really had that dead feeling.
  2. Faster recovery: Because my legs didn’t feel dead during my runs, I also recovered faster. I’m a champion napper and often need a quick nap in the afternoon. During the month, I noticed that I wasn’t as tired during the day and I didn’t need my daily nap.
  3. Less aches and pains: I’m the queen of feeling sore and achy as my past injury history reveals. Leading up to the SF Half and Reach the Beach Relay, I was dealing with some pain in my plantar fascia and my left ankle / shin area. While the aches didn’t disappear completely, they were significantly less bothersome and didn’t inhibit my training. In fact, there were long stretches of days when I didn’t feel sore or achey.
  4. 7-minute PR at the Philadelphia Half Marathon: OK, I can’t attribute my PR entirely to EnduroPacks. Yes, I ran strong and consistently over the past year and honestly, I expected to start falling apart by the fall. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t register for the half until 3 weeks before race day. I do think that EnduroPacks played a role in allowing me to continue to run and to have one of the best races in Philly.

Vitamin and mineral replacement is key for endurance athletes to stay healthy and recover faster. But how do you ensure that you're giving your body what it needs? EnduroPacks has created a convenient system designed to do just that. From someone who is skeptical of supplements and vitamins, I was surprised at my results. 

For more details on Christine's training and to visit her blog

Amino acids are the building blocks for skeletal muscles as well as digestive enzymes, hormones, antibodies and other body proteins necessary for optimal functioning. Of the 20 amino acids in the body, there are two types: essential and non-essential. The term essential is used because the body cannot synthesize these amino acids, making it necessary to obtain them from the diet. The twelve non-essential amino acids are equally important, but most of the time can be synthesized in the body at a rate that equals demand so dietary intake is not as crucial.

There are 8 essential amino acids including — leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Learn More About The 8 Essential Amino Acids And How They Help The Body

Leucine – Leucine, or L-Leucine is classified as a “Branched-Chain” amino acid, (BCAA) and an “essential” amino acid. Leucine is critically important in that it is the only Amino Acid that stimulates muscle protein synthesis, so as we age it helps to slow normal age-related degradation of muscle tissue. Instead it supports muscle growth! The fact that Leucine stimulates muscle protein synthesis makes it very important to athletes, body builders, and men and women of all ages that have good exercise and, or workout routines. Leucine has also been shown to enhance and slow mental acuity due to aging.

Isoleucine - Isoleucine is critical to ongoing muscle tissue maintenance and it helps muscles tore glycogen to produce energy. It further helps prevent protein deterioration during muscle-demanding sports and, or exercise. It helps to repair, heal, and grow damaged muscle tissue. It also helps to reduce recovery time after workouts and, or strenuous exercise routines.

Lysine - Lysine, or L-Lysine is considered an “essential” amino acid. Our bodies cannot synthesize it, so we must get it from certain foods we eat or from a dietary supplement. Lysine is an important building block for all proteins in our bodies. It works in combination with other Amino Acids to build lean body mass and promote normal growth. It has positive effects on serotonin receptors in our intestinal tract and helps to reduce anxiety and stress. Early studies show that Lysine may help in the treatment of cancer by causing cancer cells to destroy themselves. There are also studies that show that Lysine may moderate high blood pressure and the incidence of stroke. Lysine also aids the formation and maintenance of skin collagen and also helps the body absorb calcium. It supports immune system function and a healthy cardiovascular system. 

Methionine – Methionine, or L-Methionine is a very efficient antioxidant and it supports the natural detoxification. Methionine helps to support joint health and brain function. It also supports healthy skin and nails. 

Phenylalanine – Phenylalanine, or L-Phenylalanine is an electrically neutral Amino Acid and it is used to biochemically form proteins. Studies have shown that Phenylalanine helps to provide analgesic and antidepressant effects.

Threonine – Threonine, or L-Threonine is an important Amino Acid that supports many critical biological functions such as: immune system, central nervous system, liver, and cardiovascular functions. Threonine also helps to build and maintain tooth enamel and strong bones. It also speeds wound healing.

Tryptophan – Tryptophan is an important Amino Acid in protein biosynthesis. It has been shown to be effective for brain conditions associated with low serotonin levels, so it may have antidepressant benefits.

Valine – Valine, or L-Valine is classified as another “Branched-Chain” amino acid. Because Valine stimulates protein synthesis directly in muscle tissue, it is considered one of the body’s most important “fuels” used in the building of lean muscle tissue and the enhancement of muscle “reaction”. Valine also helps our bodies maintain the proper nitrogen balance. Valine also helps to stimulate the central nervous system for ongoing mental acuity and it may also improve liver functions that may have been degraded by alcohol or drug abuse.

Endurance Athletes Need To Focus on A Diet High In BCAAs 

A Study By The American Society For Nutrition Suggests Amino Acids Can Reduce Damage To Muscle Intregrity 
The amino acids that endurance athletes should be most interested in are, valine, leucine, isoleucine and glutamine.  The Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s), valine, leucine and isoleucine, are metabolized differently than other amino acids. During prolonged exercise, BCAA’s are taken up by the skeletal muscle rather than the liver in order to contribute to energy production (oxidative metabolism).  Making up one third of the muscle amino acid pool, BCAA’s can become quickly depleted with exhaustive endurance exercise.

The results of a study performed by The American Society for Nutrition suggest that the recovery from muscular fatigue that occurs during exercise training is facilitated by the use of the orally administered Amino Acid mixture. Likewise, the Amino Acid mixture reduced the damage to muscular integrity that accompanies strenuous exercise. Additionally, the observation that the Amino Acid mixture produced favorable changes in indicators of hematopoiesis indicates that, when used for extended periods, increases in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood may occur that further contribute to improved athletic performance. 

Cells In The Body Use Glutamine As a Fuel For Growth

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body accounting for more than 60% of the total intramuscular amino acid pool. Many cells in the body use glutamine as a fuel for growth and is synthesized in both skeletal muscle and in adipose tissue in addition to the lungs, liver and brain. 

There is evidence that during times of stress the body cannot produce enough glutamine to keep up with demand which in turn can reduce performance and immune system function.  Athletes at risk for inadequate stores of glutamine include those not eating enough calories, carbohydrates or protein or those participating in strenuous endurance events, such as marathons and triathlons.  Research has shown that glutamine levels decreased as much as 25% after running a marathon!  Therefore, the need for proper daily nutrition is important to help maintain normal glutamine levels in endurance athletes.

Recent accounts from endurance athletes of all levels have supported this research. Pro, elites, and amateur endurance athletes have seen a difference in performance and recovery when incorporating a daily system of mineral supplements including essential amino acids and L-glutamine. You can read more about how endurance athletes have seen improvement in their recovery through a daily system of amino acids here.

Wilton Tejada, a USATF Certified Running Coach and Marathoner trains for the Miami Half Marathon with EnduroPacks. He said, "I was so surprised that I wasn't sore from the previous 10 mile run! For sure I thought I was going to be sore and not be able to workout, but this was not the case." Wilton finds EnduroPacks to be the "Perfect Supplement" for him! 

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Recent Elite And Pro-Level Runners And Triathletes Have Experienced The Benefits Of Adding Proper Nutrients To Their Daily Training Routine.  And most recently, a number of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) tests were conducted which reinforce these benefits to improved RECOVERY.
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