We spend a lot of time and energy looking for the superfood or the newest gadget that is going to help us recover faster. And I’m all for doing all the little things we can do as athletes to improve performance and get more joy out of the sport.
Recovering well plays perhaps the largest role in our ability to feel good on our runs and improve our performance. And in our busy lives it’s easy to lose track of the fact that you can add up all the little things we do to recover – recovery shakes, ice, foam rolling, yoga, etc, which are all great by the way.
In her book Good to Go, Christie Aschwaden explores all those recovery modalities and more. Her conclusion (spoiler alert!) is that you could add those benefits together and it still pales in comparison to the value you’ll get out of adequate sleep each night. Sleep is easily the most important aspect to recovering properly and you simply cannot substitute for it. The exact amount will vary person to person, but the higher priority you can put on your sleep the better recovered you’ll be.