So you've had a tough weekend on the hill, here's some advice to help you recharge your batteries.
This week's Monday Tip is all about recovering effectively from a hard-ish weekend in the hills, so you're up and ready to go again as soon as possible. We're not going to pretend we're all international athletes and suggest ice baths and recovery supplements, just few basic tips that work for anyone.
As Soon As You Stop...
There are lots of expensive recovery products out there, but our suggestion is that within about 30 minutes or so of coming off the hills after a hard day, you swig down a pint or so of chocolate milk or shake. It has the right mix of carbohydrate and protein to be absorbed by your body efficiently - just like those specialist recovery drinks - but doesn't cost loads to buy.
The time window is important, it's the point where your body is most receptive to replenishing glycogen reserves fast. Miss it and it will take you longer to recover.
Follow it up an hour and a half later with a meal and get some water down too to replace fluid you've sweated out during the day.
A good night's sleep is an essential part of recovering. It's when your body gets on with fixing the damage you've done to it during the day, so make an effort to get an early night and fit in eight hours or so of kip if you can.
Make Monday A Rest Day
Getting stronger and fitter isn't - contrary to what you might think - all about training hard. It's about giving your body the change to rebuild from training and make itself stronger in the process. If you don't let it recover, you won't benefit from what you've done.
If you have regular active weekends, consider making Monday a regular rest day. As with sleep, it'll give your body a chance to rebuild itself stronger and better. Eat healthy food, drink lots of water - avoid soft drinks, squash and so on - and generally rest up.
You don't have to be completely sedentary. There's research which suggests that very light exercise - a super gentle jog or a stroll in the park, maybe a very easy bike ride - will actually help your recovery. Or you could do some gentle stretching.
What you should avoid is vigorous training that'll hammer already damaged muscle fibres and tired heart and lungs.
Reap The Benefits
We can't promise you'll be transformed into a barn-storming mountain athlete overnight, but follow the above advice and you'll be giving your body the best chance of benefiting fully from your weekend out. Combine it with a gentle pre-weekend Friday with maybe some harder mid-week training - a hilly run or two maybe - thrown in and you'll be raring to go next weekend.