Tips on Stretching, Nutrition and Equipment

As you know, after every XSNRG workout, we conclude with our 'active stretching'. This activity is designed as more than just a ritual social event. Your next workout starts with the way you end your current workout; we need to think of our workouts as a cycle, with one flowing into the next. As a result, it is important that you focus on a few key elements as one workout ends, so as to optimally prepare yourself for the next one. Here are some of the key elements to focus on:

STRETCHING: Our workouts are designed to 'work' various aspects of our running: hills for strength and intervals for speed. As a result, we actually stress different muscles, and therefore our post-workout stretching must also focus on the key muscles we have worked. The A's, B's, and C's (butt-kicks) we do at the end should just be the start of your post-workout stretching. After these are done, think about which muscles groups you stressed during the workout and focus on stretching them as well.

NUTRITION: There is a 20-30 minute window following each workout for us to replenish the nutrients that are body needs: proteins to help with muscle repair; carbohydrates to replace the energy consumed; and, fluids to keep our system in equilibrium. There are many commercial products available for this recovery phase, including chocolate milk. Be sure to focus on getting the required nutrients back into your system within this 20-30 minute window.

EQUIPMENT: Our shoes are our most important piece of equipment, and you need to ensure that your shoes are 'doing their job' for you. Most experts will recommend having two pairs of shoes that can be alternated between workouts. Others will suggest that you have different shoes for different types of workouts: more supportive shoes for the long runs; lighter shoes for our speed workouts, etc. The main point here is to think about your shoes after each workout. Are they wet from rain or sweat and therefore need to be air dried before the next use? Are they suitable for the workout you are doing? Beyond shoes we also need to think about having the correct clothing, and to have a dry, warm set of clothes to change into after the workout to prevent chills or chaffing - regardless of time of year. There are also many types of compression clothes available - however this may be a topic for another time.

The main take-away for you is that what you do to end a workout will have an impact - positive or negative - on your next workout.