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Building a Recovery Routine | Kasia Gondek's Road to the Boston Marathon
Building a Recovery Routine | Kasia Gondek's Road to the Boston Marathon

A very important component of any running program, ranging from a 5 km (3.1 miles) race to an ultra-marathon (anything more than a marathon which is 26.2 miles), is adequate recovery.

Many people neglect this portion of their training because it doesn’t involve getting sweaty or doing high intensity intervals or weights. However, building in a solid recovery routine is crucial to helping your body bounce back after training as quickly as possible. A good recovery routine also helps prevent injury, decreased immune system function, and muscle mass loss. A recovery routine encompasses a cool-down activity, nutrition, and exercises like hatha-based yoga, foam rolling, and/or stretching the major muscle groups used during your workout. Although not discussed here, getting good quality sleep is critical to recovery as well!

My Post-run Recovery Routine:

1. JOGGING SLOWLY AND WALKING: Immediately after a run, a cool-down recovery routine helps gradually decrease your heart rate back to resting levels, flushes metabolic waste products from your muscles (decreasing muscle soreness), redistributes blood flow from the muscle groups that were working hardest to the rest of the body, and gradually brings your body temperature down. This helps your metabolic system regain homeostasis.

After a workout or training run, I jog slowly for about 2 min, and then walk for about 6 minutes. To make things efficient, I usually build this in as a jog and then walk back to my home or my car depending on where I have started my workout that day.

2. EAT A SNACK: After this (ideally within the first 30-minutes post-workout or run), I make sure to eat a snack that has a good source of protein and some carbohydrates to help restore muscle glycogen and prevent muscle mass loss.

If my workout doesn’t coincide with a meal within the first 30 minutes, a few options that are my go-to:

  1. RX bar (if I am on the go and can’t make a smoothie or prep something). I like RX bars because they use only simple ingredients, they aren’t overly-processed, and provide 9 grams of egg-based protein as well as healthy fats from nuts, and carbohydrates from dates. I maintain a gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free diet due to long-standing challenges with IBS (more articles about IBS here) and find that RX bars agree with my tummy! (Side-note: I do not receive endorsements or sponsorship from Insurgent Brands, LLC / RX Bar!)
  2. Antioxidant-rich protein smoothie made with 2 scoops of Garden of Life’s collagen powder (for protein), ½ cup blueberries (for antioxidants), and ½ cup spinach (antioxidants, fiber, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K), and ½ banana or an apple to sweeten it and add additional carbohydrates.

3. STRETCHING: After I have gotten something to eat, it’s time to stretch! I hold each of the 5 stretches below for at least 30 seconds, and repeat twice.

4. FOAM ROLLING: I find that my quadriceps, guteals, and calves are the muscles that feel the most sore/ tight during training, so I focus on these. Foam rolling these muscle groups before a run is also a great way to loosen up the muscles before I get going.

Stretches in my Recovery Routine

Standing Calf Stretch at wall

Standing Hamstring stretch

03 standing hamstring stretch

Standing Adductor stretch

04 adductor stretch

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

05 hip flexor

06 hip flexor

Seated Figure-four stretch

07 seated hip flexor

Foam Rolling in my Recovery Routine

I address each area for about 2 -3 minutes, combining a rolling movement with static (non-moving) pressure on particularly tender points.

Foam Roll Quadriceps (quads)

09 foamroll quads

08 foam roll quads

Foam Roll Gluteals

10 foam roll gluteals

Foam Roll Calves

11 foam roll calves

Note from our staff - We are SO PROUD of Kasia and will be cheering her on from LA! GO KASIA!!

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by T.H.

I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse. I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing worked.

Read more: Testimonial by T.H.

Testimonial by Jackie W.

I was in multiple car accidents a decade ago, and I have been to many physical therapists through the years without success. They found the root of my lower back pain problems and after nearly a decade of barely being able to walk I finally can again without pain. They are also the best pelvic floor pts and the only ones who found the connection between my pelvic floor and lower back problems. If you need help with physical pain, they are your answer.

-- Jackie W., 1/19/17 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Rosanna R., age 35

Heather has affected my life in the MOST POSITIVE way and I am forever grateful. My husband refers to her as the "sex doctor" so you can only imagine how happy he is with my therapy outcome.

After the birth of my son I suffered from "Vaginismus", however, at the time I just thought I was broken. My "broken vagina" affected me physically but it was an emotional struggle as well. Many women in my life also suffered with pain from sex after their babies were born so I knew I wasn't alone. They told me they "just got used to it" but I couldn't see myself living that way.

Sex wasn't just painful, it was literally impossible - IT DIDNT FIT!

Read more: Testimonial by Rosanna R.,...

Testimonial by Julie T.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Julie T.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

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