7 Post Race Recovery Tips & Recollections From My Rhythmic Gymnastics Days

I’ve been sore… VERY SORE!!! The Spartan Race seems to have taken my ability to walk away. I am NOT kidding you!

walking down stairs after a long run

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It’s funny and somewhat random, but as I was looking for the above picture, I came across this one:

walk-down-stairs-backwards

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It seems like such a GREAT idea. I don’t know how I haven’t thought of this on my own. I’ll definitely give it a try! *Haha!*

You know what? Since my blog is based on a scientific research *wink, wink* and my continuous curiosity, I decided to actually leave my laptop and try walking down stairs backwards… It is indeed easier and much less painful! *Happy dance!* Nevertheless, I think I’ll refrain from doing it in public… just in case!

I’m still a newbie when it comes to running . Therefore, it’s not surprising that I knew very little about what I could do in order to recover from a long run or race faster.

road to recovery

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In fact, proper race recovery is essential. There are a few things we can do in order to speed it up.

  1. According to Activekeep moving right after the race, even if you are dead tired. Do these stretches while your muscles are still warm.
  2. Runner’s World suggests to take a few easy days. The general rule of thumb is one day of rest for each mile. However, please note that “rest” does NOT mean no running or exercise, but rather a break from intense training like speed work. Rest days can include short, easy paced runs or cross training, like swimming or spinning, at an easy intensity level. Exercise promotes circulation, which brings nutrients and oxygen to soft tissue; therefore, enhanced circulation replenishes and repairs the body, which means that exercise can assist with recovery, provided it is done at a low intensity level so as not to stress the body further.” 
  3. Even though it may be extremely painful, roll it out. Make sure not to be harsh on your body. Read here more on various foam rolling techniques.
  4. Hydrate. Read my previous blog post on hydration to find ways to remember to drink enough water throughout the day.
  5. Eat well.
  6. Stretch it out. Check out the following deep stretching and ultimate stretch yoga routines, and Pilates flexibility workout routine.
  7. Treat yourself to a well-deserved massage.

ready set go

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Since I touch-based the subject of stretching today, I thought it would be a great opportunity to answer a couple of questions about rhythmic gymnastics that one of my readers asked me a while ago. I kept on delaying this post because I wanted to get a few pictures from back in the days during my trip to Ukraine last month. However, due to family circumstances, I completely forgot about them. SORRY!

How old were you when you started with rhythmic gymnastics and how many years did you continue it for?

As some of you may already know, I did rhythmic gymnastics for quite a few years. I think, I started doing it when I was about 7-8 years old (rather late since the average age of beginners is around 5 years old), and stopped around 16. I achieved a rank of a Candidate in Masters of Sport, which I am very proud of.

What were your coaches like? Are they as strict as people think?

No, unfortunately, coaches in Ukraine are not as strict as people in other countries think, they are much stricter! Haha!

I won’t lie, I hated it at times. However, in retrospective, my coaches taught me a lot and I really miss the discipline that came with it. We had 5-6 practices a week, at least 3-4 hours each. It wasn’t a strange thing to see girls crying at the gym. Mostly, it happened when we were stretching. We were required to do splits from 1 or 2 chairs and someone would push us down to the floor.

rhythmic gymnastics splitsSource

I remember this one day, when my dad was trying to explain me a concept of yoga when I was little. I couldn’t understand how could you simply let your body adjust to pain and stretch without anyone yelling or pushing you down. *Sounds crazy, right? Haha!*   

Speaking of yelling… It is considered normal. Hearing names coming your way was definitely unpleasant, especially in front of parents, but not frowned upon.

Oh… and pinching!.. especially during choreography lessons! Our coach was used to pinch us with a twist of skin, so that it would really really hurt but wouldn’t leave a mark. *Now I use this method on my hubby when he ‘disobeys’. True story! Haha!*

I know, I know… It sounds absolutely horrific. But please, believe me, it wasn’t any sort of abuse, and I really miss those times! And the above memories actually made me giggle as I was writing them down.

Last story for today… We were training for the Championship of Ukraine. I don’t really remember the details, but the coach got really mad at one of my teammates. She wanted to come up to her and smack her or something, but the girl started running away! This was a surprise to us all, including the coach. We were somewhat stunned by what was happening but intrigued at the same time. Guess what?! Our coach wasn’t going to let it slip, so she took off her shoe and threw it at my friend. Thankfully, she missed her, but this forever stayed in my memory. I laugh every single time I tell someone this story! Good old times!!!

memories

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Please, do let me know if you would like to know more about my rhythmic gymnastics days. Ask away!

Now it’s your turn. How do you recover after a serious race? What are some of your childhood memories that make you laugh, even though it may make others frown?

xoxo
Olena

 

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29 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Rhythmic Gymnastics

29 responses to “7 Post Race Recovery Tips & Recollections From My Rhythmic Gymnastics Days

  1. My soccer coach never threw things or anything, but he’d call us names, swear, yell a lot, etc. I’m sure to most people it sounded crazy for 12 yr old girls but we loved it and enjoyed being fired up and being disciplined. It’s hard to explain, I know some people don’t respond well to it but we did.

  2. This post comes at a great time for a race I have tomorrow, will keep those tips in mind, especially the going down the stairs backwards one. 🙂
    Nice to read about your training in Ukraine, sounds tough, but discipline is a big part of training. There are a lot of Russians and Ukrainians in Israel and I know their culture is very disciplined, which I respect.

    • Haha! I can’t stress enough how walking backwards can be a lifesaver!!! 😀 I know that you run wayyyy more than I do, but just in case, make sure you hydrate well throughout the race. I mistakenly relied on water stations, but their number was FAAAR from enough. All the best on your race tomorrow. You’ll do great!!! xoxo

  3. Hey!! I loved reading this post and learning more about you!! xoxo!!
    I was in a rigorous gymnastics program growing up. At 6 years old, I was doing all sorts of crazy flips and stuff. Thinking back to it, it was very intense but I loved the intensity of it. I loved having the spotlight on me while doing my beam routine during practices and having everyone in the gym watching and getting yelled at if I didn’t perform how I should have.

  4. Hey girl! Glad you are on the road to recovery! I am all about foam rolling and yoga when I am trying to recover. It hurts so good and makes a huge difference in recovery time. I can relate to the childhood version of you on a lot of levels because I was a dancer. I don’t know if we had the same intensity but the physical repercussions are probably very similar. I always smile when I pop my hips because it feels so good but makes people around me worry. It’s an old dance habit 🙂

  5. absgoldberg

    Wow, sounds like an intense sport! I get that coaches for these sports are really serious about making the athletes excel but I still feel like that can be really harmful to someones self-esteem, especially when they’re so young. But I’m sure you probably kill the flexibility moves in yoga nowadays 🙂

  6. Congrats on your Spartan Race! I did one too this spring and seriously every muscle ached for like 3 days after lol. Good points about recovery and it was so interesting to read about you gymnastic experiences. Those spilts sound painful!

  7. I think our gymnastics and competitive figure skating worlds are very similar. I didn’t mind the rigor at all but it definitely breaks down some girls and it did leave me very insecure (especially about my body) for a long time. Your pointers for post race are dead on. Rest, hydration, a little movement are all great ones. And why didn’t I ever think about going backwards down stairs? Brilliant!

  8. runawaybridalplanner

    Those chair splits look incredible and painful at the same time, wow I could only imagine being that flexible, that is pretty cool!

  9. The timing could not have been more perfect for me to read this post! I am new to running and was baffled by my soreness after running 3 days in a row. I took today off but am going to do some yoga stretches later on. Maybe a well deserved massage this weekend as well 😉

  10. Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.wordpress.com

    Oh my goodness girl. This post brought back major memories for me! I grew up dancing for 16 years. While my experience was NOT like yours, there were things that my German ballet teacher did that pushed the boundaries. I remember hear stories about the schools in a near be town where the instructors would do ridiculous things to make their girls flexible. Then again, they had contortionists!

    Your post also reminds me… I need to go roll out my legs asap! 🙂

  11. Pingback: Life Is Too Short To Be Serious All The Time (Part 3) | candies & crunches

  12. Pingback: Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share | Explore Newness

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