Whats the most effective recovery strategy from after a run? 8 Oct 2020
Fatigue in sport has become a topic of interest among athletes, coaches and sport scientists because it affects athletic performance across a wide range of sports. Sports related fatigue can be defined as a decline of muscle force or an exercise induced impairment of performance. (Knicker, 2011).
Scientists recruited 46 healthy male recreational runners taking part in the same half marathon event and assigned them to four groups of equal ability, which either had sports massage, cold water immersion (ice baths), active recovery or passive rest within 15 minutes after the event.
The sports massage group had a 20 minutes post event sports massage focusing on the legs. The cold water immersion group sat in cold baths where the temperature was maintained at fifteen degrees centrigrade plus/minus 1 degree. While participants in the passive rest group sat at rest on a bench. While those in the active recovery group jogged at 60% of their anaerobic threshold for all 15 minutes.
24 hours before the half marathon, immediately after the intervention and then 24 hours after the race jump height, muscle soreness, perceived recovery and stress were measured. The results show the sports massage and cold water immersion had no effect on objective markers of fatigue such as changes in muscle and the blood but they did have a significant effect ont he subjective fatigue measures, including perceived recover and muscle soreness. These interventions were more effective than passive rest while active recovery had no physical advantage and a negative effect on perceived recovery.