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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!!

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Beating Endo by Iris Kerin Orbuch, MD and Amy Stein, DPT

From two of the world’s leading experts in endometriosis comes an essential, first-of-its kind book that unwraps the mystery of the disease and gives women the tools they need to reclaim their lives from it. 

Approximately one out of every 10 women has endometriosis, an inflammatory disease that causes chronic pain, limits life’s activities, and may lead to infertility. Despite the disease’s  prevalence, the average woman may suffer for a decade or more before receiving an accurate diagnosis. Once she does, she’s often given little more than a prescription for pain killers and a referral for the wrong kind of surgery. Beating Endo arms women with what has long been missing—even within the medical community—namely, cutting-edge knowledge of how the disease works and what the endo sufferer can do to take charge of her fight against it.

Leading gynecologist and endometriosis specialist Dr. Iris Kerin Orbuch and world-renowned pelvic pain specialist and physical therapist Dr. Amy Stein have long partnered with each other and with other healthcare practitioners to address the disease’s host of co-existing conditions—which can include pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, gastrointestinal ailments, painful bladder syndrome, central nervous system sensitization—through a whole-mind/whole-body approach.

Now, Beating Endo formalizes the multimodal program they developed, offering readers an anti-inflammatory lifestyle protocol that incorporates physical therapy, nutrition, mindfulness, and environment to systematically addresses each of the disease’s co-conditions on an ongoing basis up to and following excision surgery. This is the program that has achieved successful outcomes for their patients; it is the program that works to restore health, vitality, and quality of life to women with endo.

No more “misdiagnosis roulette” and no more limits on women’s lives: Beating Endo puts the tools of renewed health in the hands of those whose health is at risk.

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by R.S.

I wanted to thank you so much for helping me get through something I thought I may never be able to. We have achieved pain-free intercourse and this has really solidified our marriage. We are so grateful to you for all the work you do! Thank you!!

-- R.S.

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

Testimonial by J.H.

My last appointment with Heather was over 6 years ago but I still think of her every day. I don’t take for granted that I can easily get out of bed, care for my two active and busy young boys, run, play tennis, clean my house, or sit at a desk for several hours at a time. None of these tasks were easy for me before meeting Heather. Eight years ago my car was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was estimated to have been speeding. I spent 3 years working with different PTs and Drs trying to heal and move on with my life. When I became pregnant and the hormone relaxin that “relaxes” all the joints of the body and the additional weight gain erased all my progress and I was suddenly in a lot of pain again. My OB sent me to Heather for one last try.

Read more: Testimonial by J.H.

Testimonial by J.B.

My husband and I were having problems with painful intercourse. My therapist recommended that I go and get a pelvic floor evaluation from a physical therapist. Having never been treated by a physical therapist, I wondered how this really was going to help me. My husband who is a physician was very supportive and agreed that a PT evaluation would be a great idea. So i made the appointment and was blown away by what I learned. I had no idea that pelvic floor muscles could get tight and have trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. I'm a massage therapist and very familiar with tight muscles, and this new thought really amazed me. Heather's program to help relax and strengthen these muscles made such a difference. I can say that I am 100% pain free during intercourse now. Yippee! Going to the PT appointments and doing the at-home exercises was definitely a discipline, but it's 100% worth it! The rewards are amazing.

-- J.B.

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 M.N., age 28

A personal journey and testimonial from one of my patients:

I was diagnosed with vaginismus 4 years ago. I never heard of such medical condition until after I got married. At first my husband and I didn't know what to do, we didn't know what the issues were or how to overcome it. Being born and raised in Armenia and being Christian I wasn't that open about talking to sex with others and so it wasn't easy to seek help. But eventually I went to an Ob-Gyn and luckily she knew about the medical condition (not many doctors know). She referred me to a physical therapist and I couldn't believe it and thought it's something I can handle myself. I ordered a kit from vaginismus.com and started practicing with dilators. There was some small progress but wasn't much helpful.

Read more: Testimonial by M.N., age 28

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