Andrew Andrew Papadopoulos is an ultra endurance runner, personal trainer, star of search4hurt season two and one of Australia’s most popular fitness Instagrammers.
He talked Men’s Health Australia through the best ways to recover, so you can push your limits day after day.
How to do recovery like a pro
I am someone who absolutely loves to push and test myself both physically and mentally.
I always have an event to train for which allows me to mix up my training styles, plus it motivates me to put in the time and effort required to complete an event to the best of my ability.
Currently I am training for the 75KM Buffalo Stampede skyrace in April and once I complete that I will change by training again to prepare for my first half ironman.
It’s all well and good to ‘fight your limits’ however one thing that a lot of people forget about when they put their mind to a big challenge is recovery.
We all think that an injury won’t happen to us, but when it does and you get sidelined, or can’t perform come event day, let me tell you, it is heartbreaking!
Here are my top tips for how to do recovery like a pro!
Self Myofascial Release
That’s right! Make friends with your foam roller, trigger balls and stretching bands to help roll out any tightness, build strength in smaller stability muscles and stretch it all out.
It's important to minimise muscular and skeletal imbalances prior to participating in an endurance event. As an example, if you show up to event day and your hamstrings are tight, your hip flexors will have to work overtime and eventually you'll be dragging your feet across the ground.
When I am training for an endurance event, I also make sure that I make time to see a sports physio and/or massage therapist to help with maintenance. They are great because they can help you identify your weak points and give you tips on how to strengthen them.
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I find that nutrition is almost as important as training when it comes to preparing for an endurance event. Even if you have any sort of health and fitness goal that you would like to reach, giving your body sufficient fuel and nutrients for optimal performance is imperative.
When it comes to nutrition, remember that everyone is different, so if you find that your energy levels are all over the place or you are struggling to recover, consider seeing a health professional who can assist.
Whether you are gaining this from whole foods or supplementation, it is important to do your research and have the correct knowledge on nutrition and supplementation that suits your individual needs and your goals. This will not only help performance, but recovery too.
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Even though understanding the importance of allowing time to let your body recover, I do really struggle to take days off. So allowing myself to have the time to go surfing, yoga or stand up paddle boarding helps me to wind down and loosen up.
Best of all, these activities are all complimentary to the tough training sessions that I do most days of the week as they help to balance and stretch my (generally sore) muscles.
There have been lots of studies done on compression and its many benefits when it comes to performance and recovery. In fact, in a recent study on 11 subjects using aMRI to demonstrate the muscle changes during recovery, the results signified significant improvements in enzymes involved in muscle membrane restoration after only 1 hour of wearing SKINS.
Wearing SKINS helps to accelerate the body's natural recovery process, helping you recover to the point of the same or greater performance levels, faster. They also promote blood flow, support the muscles and boost the recovery process from the get go.
I personally wear compression when I am training as I find that it helps reduce my soreness post workout. If I have an event coming up, I also wear my tights and long sleeve top to bed in the weeks leading up to the event.