I have always thought,
Rest and recovery don’t get the press they deserve. I have been telling people for a while to use Sunday to not only rest but to take care of business. Josh Hillis has this great idea of using Sunday as the day where you buy the food, prep the food and store the food. That way, for the rest of the week, or for a few days, you won’t make a ton of mistakes. If you eat some turkey with some black beans and some veggies, you probably will pass the birthday cake at the office party.
Two cheap investments are worth considering: first, I finally found a use for the sports of tennis, lacrosse and golf. Steal their balls! While sitting in a chair with your shoes and socks off, roll your feet upon the ball and really press down to find the hot spots. Tennis balls are nice and gentle, LAX balls less so, and golf balls are hardcore. Someone asked me if this is “reflexology” and that is fine if that is what the explanation is for why this works. For me, since wearing the Vibram Five Fingers nearly all the time (or flip flops) and doing this simple thing while watching TV, I found my shoe size shrinking. It is an odd thing noted by other VFF users but, maybe, my feet are getting stronger and, hey, I have no idea. But, my feet, knees and hips feel better when I do this.
Next, and their are plenty of places on the web to see this, roll out your hips, quads, lower back, IT band and calves. I have a foam roller, but I found at school that using broken slosh pipes works just as well. Take the six or eight inch (or whatever it is) PVC pipes and cut about 18 inch sections. Now, lay down and roll. Yes, the PVC hurts more, but it seems to work great for me and my athletes.
Finally, after rolling your feet and body, then consider a nice stretch. I often suggest dropping the fifteen bucks on a Bikram Yoga session. For an hour and a half, you get heat, instruction and a new set of joints. If not, there are dozens of inexpensive yoga DVDs, some good and some bizarre. Or, just stretch out. If you need details on how to stretch, well, then, I don’t have all the answers.
If you have to train on Sunday, do so. But, try to find a day or two a week where you focus on the recovery aspects of training.