Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Brownie Sundae Recovery Method

Ice bath? Too cold...
Stretching? Too painful...
Foam rolling? Even MORE painful...
Deep tissue massage? oooooouuuccch!!
Protein Shakes? Do you like to drink chalk?....
Chugging loads of water? Are you really a camel?...

Brownie Sundaes? Now we are talking!


After my 15K on Sunday, I did the usual recovery routine. Stretch, foam roll, protein shake, ice bath, warm up, eat, shower.

Monday rolled around and I was sore as usual. And usually on Monday's I hit the pool for some kicking and later that night I am on the trainer doing some light spinning, all so that I can loosen myself up. But when Tuesday rolls around, the soreness is usually at its worst, and I go crying to the PT.

This time, I said screw the pool and screw hopping on the trainer. I am going to eat brownie sundaes! I ate one Sunday night, and one Monday night.

Cue Tuesday morning (this morning), and my legs are healed. No soreness!

*Cue Seriousness*

I think I have figured out WHY after the January 31st Half Marathon, the Feb 28th 25K and the March 21st Half Marathon that my legs were so wrecked. It was to do with Intensity.

Yes, I knocked out 57 miles on the bike on Saturday, then PR'ed the 15K on Sunday, but those two efforts were not done at an all out pace. They were huge volumes, but the intensity was far off from the efforts of those three races listed above.

Which brings me to my next conclusion: If you are racing all out, then no matter what kinds of recovery methods you use, your legs are going to hurt. You are physically ripping those muscle fibers to shreds. Your body needs time to heal. Yes, you can do things to mitigate the soreness and pain and possibly speed up the healing process, but you are NOT a robot and it takes time to physically repair those tiny tears in your muscles.

*Disclaimer* This is what I have learned about how MY body reacts after such efforts. It will probably be different for you, so PLEASE don't read this as the gospel, but I hope it might help shed some light on your recovery methods.


  1. Brownie sundaes huh? I may have to try one of those! Ha ha!

    I agree with your conclusion that racing all out will make your legs hurt. That's why I'm careful about choosing what events to "race" and what events to "just finish and have fun."

  2. Jon - Your last recovery recommendation worked well for me so I'd be foolish not to follow your advice about the Brownie Sundae!!!!

    I feel like after a high intensity race or workout the steps I take (stretching, foam roller, ice) are more to minimize soreness as opposed to preventing it. But the larger my training volume becomes the less time it seems to take to recover after these hard efforts. I can now run 13-14 miles and the next day I am fine. Whereas 6 months ago a 5 miler used to wreck my legs for a couple of days. It is all a weird learning process!

  3. I'm kind of liking your brownie sundae recovery method...hmmmm..... must try.

    My legs feel good today, but the chest cold that has decided to take residence is not fun. Hubby and son also have it; it's a plague house.

  4. I really love the brownie sundae recovery method...I am definitely going to try it out. From what I understand, the ice bath (don't forget the beer) helps minimize pain. But it hurts so much to go in that sometimes I just look at the cold icy water bath I prepared for myself, turn around, and go grab a cold beer instead.

  5. now thats what i call recovery!!!

  6. Hi little bro,
    I saw the title of your post and had to check it out ASAP!! What is it with you and food? It looks good...mmmmm:)

    I hope that your legs are now in recovery mode:) Have a great day Jon!

  7. Now you're talking about my type of recovery!!

  8. I think with the guarantee of a brownie sundae recovery, my wife might even start running. Haha


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