Let’s talk recovery

I received products from Addaday, Arcanum, CEP Compression, NUUN, and Incrediwear as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.

Let’s talk about recovery. Running recovery. Do you do anything to aid in your post run recovery? Eat a snack high is protein right after? Stretch? Foam roll? Nothing?

The older I get I find that I need to concentrate on my recovery just as much as my runs. At The Running Event last month I received several products that I have come to enjoy and now added to my recovery routine.

Addaday Massage

The Deep Tissue Roller for Runners from Addaday Massage is an amazing recovery tool. I have issues with tight calves and a cranky IT band. This thing can really get in there and help work the kinks out. The balls really help you pinpoint the Massage and pressure too. Paired with my foam roller, they’ve been fantastic in getting me back on the road quicker and with less pain.

Addaday also makes a cool Runner’s Tea. It’s a high mountain oolong tea that’s a clean energy source before your run. I used it for my mid afternoon slump instead of my usual coffee a few times. I loved that you could steep each package multiple times. It had a nice flavor with a good boost of energy without all the coffee jitters.

CEP Compression

I love, love Compression socks. I love wearing them during a run and after a run.

I really enjoyed visiting the CEP Compression booth at The Running Event. These guys are passionate about Compression and know their stuff. I love, love, love the Women’s Run Sock 2.0. They have graduated Compression along the calf of 20-30mMHg. They felt so good after I put them in and while I was running. I think my favorite thing about these socks though is the padded cushioning and seamless toe closure on the foot of the sock. This is the first compression sock I’ve tried with padding under foot!! Wow. Felt so amazing.

I wore them after a couple of long runs for recovery and I really like that they offered good compression without overly squeezing my legs into oblivion. They are honestly comfortable enough that I could wear the to bed.

Arcanum Edge

Activated Hemp is the new thing in sports performance. I’m seeing it pop up everywhere. I’ve tried it out before I liked the benefits. What caught my eye for Arcanum is that is applied directly to your skin instead of ingested. They work with trusted industry leader Mary’s Nutritionals to create their performance and recovery products. We were given a Sarco Freeze (pinpointed recovery and topical cooling), The Quill (everyday use), and Sarco Breeze (Massage oil).

The Sarco Freeze felt so good on my sore knee these last several weeks. I would use it both preemptively right after a run and anytime my knee started to get cranky. The immediate cooling action was very soothing. The Quill is a patented activated hemp delivery pen for daily use. This was perfect for the daily stresses and unease of the Christmas holidays. It helped bring more restful sleep and took the anxiety edge off on stressful days. I only used the Sarco Breeze activated hemp massage oil a couple of times on a sore IT band. It seemed to help break up the soreness.

Incrediwear

Incrediwear was a great discovery at The Running Event. They make anti-inflammatory recovery wear. Their products can be worn 24/7 and they even encourage you wearing it to bed to optimize recovery while your body is resting. Their products have been shown to accelerate recovery up to 46%. Per their website:

Our technology incorporates semiconductor elements within our fabric, which when stimulated by body heat, release negative ions. The negative ions activate molecular vibrations that increase blood flow and speed. Increasing circulation helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which optimizes the body’s natural healing process and accelerates recovery.

I tried out the Women’s Performance Capri and socks. I really liked both. The capris were a good thickness and comfortable. I wore them for a couple of runs during short runs and then a couple of times after runs. The tights felt good both during and after. I could see wearing these on longer runs. I really liked the socks too. They are nice and thin and we’re very comfortable.

NUUN

I’ve been a big fan of NUUN for a long time. I like to drink NUUN during my runs and during the day for extra hydration. I just started drinking the NUUN Immunity and Energy tabs for recovery too. I love the immunity and energy boosts they give me.

I recently started drinking it hot in the afternoon too! Who knew it was so good hot! I little stretching, rolling, and warm NUUN is just what the recovery ordered.

I’m most excited about this new release from NUUN: their new performance endurance drink for use during the run. It will be another good add to my post run recovery. Hydration, hydration, hydration is a huge key to quicker recovery.

A Review of SKINS™ A400 Compression Tights

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the SKINS™ A400 3/4 Skyscraper Compression Tights  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

I love running in all things compression. I have a plethora of compression running sleeves and socks and have come to love running in compression tights just this last year.   SKINS™ manufactures all kinds of compression gear from bras to shirts to shorts to tights. What started in 1996 as an idea by an Aussie skier for better, longer performance has not grown into a multi-national company with over 160 products.

I had the opportunity to test out the A400 Skyscraper 3/4 Compression Tights. I personally like the 3/4 length because it’s perfect for our warm climate in Louisiana. I rarely have the need to wear full tights unless I’m traveling or racing further up north. We just don’t get that cold. I was a little leery about testing these out in September and October since we are always still in the upper 80s and 90s then. But one of the first things I noticed was how thin and lightweight the tights are. They didn’t feel overly hot when I got them on but they still offered a good amount of compression. This is due to their “ADAPTIVE Technology” which is supposed to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. I did not ever feel like I was overheating wearing these.

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I logged a couple of long runs and several short tempo runs in these and they really felt great. I really liked the wide waistband and higher rise to help tame my muffin top and support my abdominal muscles. The bonded hems and flat seams did not rub or chafe anywhere. The compression technology is supposed to minimize muscle vibration and drive more oxygen to your muscle which results in improved performance. I definitely felt the support from the calves all the way to my lower back and abs.

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I’ll break down the Pros and Cons for these tights.

Pros:

  • Thin material and lightweight so they’re great for warmer climates.
  • High rise really helped support my abs and lower back and tamed some of my middle area squishy bits.
  • I felt they offered a really good amount of compression. I definitely felt more supported and had less muscle vibration (or jiggling).
  • The flat seams and bonded hems were great. No chafing and no rubbing at all.
  • Reflective print on the side. This was an added bonus. I like running clothing that ads on reflective print. This is especially important with black tights.
  • The gusset design in the waistband is genius. It really improved the comfort and stretch and support all around the waist. No binding or pinching or rolling.

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Cons:

  • No key pocket. This bugs me. Most of their other models have a key pocket built in. For some reason the Skyscraper does not. I almost always run outside a few miles from home. I need a place to put my car key. I had to have my friend carry it for me a couple of times.
  • They can be a little see-through. These are not for the modest or for wearing wild undies underneath. Because they are thinner material they are a little transparent, especially in the booty as they stretch out. Just know this. I wore a long shirt and didn’t really care.

Overall I really liked these tights. I think they are a great addition to my training gear and will be usable year-round for me. I think the design was well thought out and executed.

If you would like to try out a pair of SKINS™ Compression tights you can save 20% off your order with code BIBRAVE20 through October.

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The new OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe – A Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the OOFOS OOmg Low Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I’ve been a huge fan of the OOFOS sandals for a while now. I wear them constantly and they are so comforting to my feet after a long day of being in dress shoes or running the streets. When OOFOS released their first fully closed shoe – the OOmg Low I knew I had to try them out! All the benefits of the OOFOS sandal, with a closed toe?? YES PLEASE!

The first thing you notice about them is how lightweight they are. Nothing was lost when they added the closed top. It’s made of a breathable OOtex mesh upper with a 4-way stretch so your little toes are ensured lots of room to wiggle.

They’re made with the same OOFoam footbed that have made OOFOS so popular. The OOFoam technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional shoe foam. This means less stress on your feet, back, and joints. This helps your body relax and recovery. They are soooo squishy and sooo comfy. Your feet seriously go “Ahhh” as soon as you put them on. It’s like walking on a bed of pillows.

The shoes are an investment, but they’re an investment in your body’s recovery. They’re made to last 6 month to a year, depending on amount of wear and usage. As with my OOFOS sandals, I get almost immediate relief from the minor heel pain I experience after hard runs, and I can really feel the pressure taken off of my sore joints and feet.

 

I wore these both with and without socks to test them out. Without socks my feet sweat just a tiny bit, but much, much less than I had suspected they would. They were totally comfortable and I experienced zero rubbing or blisters after wearing them most of the day running errands all over town. I also wore them with some little low ankle socks and I gotta say, I preferred no socks personally.

Definitely order a half size up. I usually wear an 8.5 in a running shoe. I was sent a size 9 and they fit perfectly. An 8  would have been too small. They paired really well with my flowy linen pants and some of my cute, casual knit skirts and t-shirts to run around town.

The shoes come in three fun colors and are totally machine washable. I highly recommend the OOFOS OOmg Low Shoes. Your feet deserve a little OOh-la-la and pampering. You won’t regret it.

Recovering after vacation indulgence

We are back from 4 fun filled days at the beach! Our vacation included sleeping in, frolicking on the beach, a daily afternoon nap and lots and lots and lots of eating. I ate with abandon on this trip: ribs, pancakes, ice cream, eggplant Parmesan, hash browns, grits…I did not hold back. I was on vacation! I also laid off the working out. I wanted to just relax and enjoy this time with my family without stressing about when I could fit my workout in.

Now that we are back home, I feel like a big ole bloated mess. It is time to get it back in gear! I thought I would share with you guys how I like to kick-start the vacation recovery.

1. I LOAD up on fruits and veggies. I LOVE my Nutribullet. I usually start the morning off with one of these bad boys. I fill it with spinach and every kind of fruit I can find. I’ll even throw in an avocado on occasion. This one had spinach, strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, ground flax and almond milk. I’ll munch of raw veggies like carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cucumber, and cauliflower as snacks. I may do another shake in the afternoon and I make a huge salad for dinner. I do add in protein powder to the shakes or eat lean protein like chicken breast or fish at meals to get my protein intake. My focus is vegetables and fruits though. All that fiber loading gets everything, ehm, “moving” and cleans me out. I feel so much better after a couple of days of this.

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2. I drink lots and lots and lots of water. I try to drink at least 80 oz of water a day and aim more for a gallon. All that water also helps flush out my system and get the bloating back under control. I am not a plain water fan. I just won’t drink it. Some things I’ve learned to help me drink water are:

  • Find a large cup I like. I love the 20 oz Tervis tumblers. The insulation keeps the water cold longer, they don’t sweat, and the fitted lid makes them very portable (and toddler friendly).  Plus I love all the fun designs. I usually get mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% off coupon. Gotta save that money!
  • Drink with a straw. I will drink three times as much water if I have a straw in the cup. I think about it less. I just work, drink, work, sip. Before I know it, the cup is empty. Maybe because there’s less effort than having to pick the cup up and tilt it to my mouth?? I don’t know. It just works!
  • Find an added water flavor I like. I went through several favor add ins. Most of them were too strong and too sweet for me. I got turned on to Nuun Optimal Hydration through the running community. I was using it on long runs to replace electrolytes in addition to hydrating. I loved it. I now use it in my regular water intake. I like using one tab for 20 oz. It’s the right combo for me – not too sweet and not too strong.

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3. I get in a good, tough sweat session. Kind of self-explanatory here, but I hit the gym or the road hard. Nothing gets me back on track better that sweating it out! It starts the week out right and gets me back into the right mindset.

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What do you do to get back on track?