Four of the most advanced recovery methods every runner should be using

A lot of work goes into becoming a great runner. From fine-tuning your technique; to building strength and better mobility or plain increasing your endurance by running your butt off.

But historically runners have neglected an important aspect of their training – recovery. Not any more it seems. The focus in health and fitness has shifted and we are now spending as much time on the recovery aspects of our training.

Lydia Feng, Chiropractor at Quantum Laser Therapy says, "It's important to prioritise recovery as it is fundamental for exercise performance and continuous improvement."

"At its core, recovery is all about allowing our body to adapt to the stress of physical exercise. With appropriate recovery, we can increase the volume and intensity of our training or exercise without causing problems," says Feng.

To help your body bounce back quickly, runners should dedicate time after training to cooling down, stretching the muscles, having a massage or Epsom salt bath or even standing in cold water. And if you want to take your recovery to the next level, check out the latest recovery modalities and technologies available to every promising runner.

Oxygen Therapy

Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) safely increases the body's oxygen intake by raising the barometric pressure. Under pressure, additional oxygen is dissolved into the blood plasma, which leads to higher amounts of oxygen being delivered to the body's muscles, organs and brain.

Hamish Charlton, founder of Cultivate Recovery says research has shown HBOT can be effective at helping to heal shin splints from overuse, a typical running injury experienced by new athletes all the way through to the seasoned runner.

"If overtraining injuries occur HBOT allows you to get back into action faster, helping to heal and prevent larger Injuries that might occur if ignored," says Charlton.

He says the relaxing treatment takes place inside a specially designed state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber also known as an Airpod. "Whilst in the chamber, you can listen to your favourite music, meditate, read a book, use your mobile phone, laptop or #Netflixandbreathe with the iPads provided for you," adds Charlton.

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Cost: 45 mins - $70, 60 mins - $85 or 90 mins - $125

NormaTec Recovery System

NormaTec Recovery System helps maximise recovery by combining three distinct massage techniques to speed up the body's normal recovery process: pulsing compression, gradients, and distal release.

Charlton says many professional sports teams and athletes are using this type of compression system daily.  

"The NormaTec Recovery System increases blood circulation throughout the body to help you feel better, train harder, and recover faster.

"It helps with lactic acid and lymphatic flushing, reduces inflammation and water accumulation and helps prevent and eliminate varicose veins.

"I recommend using NormaTec Compression as often as you can. If time poor, I would prioritise using it after your biggest run for the week."

Cost: 30 mins - $40 or 60 mins - $55

Cold Laser Therapy

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a type of light therapy that helps to improve tissue and wound healing, reduce inflammation and provide relief for both acute and chronic pain.

Feng says LLLT targets recovery at a cellular level.

"If you have a strain, sprain or pain that won't resolve even with other treatment your cells in that area can't escape oxidative stress. They can't function normally. What laser therapy does is remove the oxidative stress, which gets the cells back to a healthy state."

Running coach Alberto Salazar who has trained Olympic medalists Mo Farah and Galen Rupphas uses LLLT at the first sign of injury to limit inflammation that can delay healing and help his athletes return to training more quickly.

Treatment usually takes about 15-30 minutes depending on the condition.

Cost: Initial 30-minute consultation - $110 and $95 ongoing

NovoTHOR

The NovoTHOR bed is our whole-body delivery system of light therapy. It is a light bed fitted with LED panels that deliver continuous red and near-infrared light that can assist with physical performance in many ways.

Research shows that it can delay onset of fatigue, improve recovery and protect cells from exercise induced damage. It has been found to not only provide performance enhancing effects but also preventative benefits.

The treatment takes only 15 minutes and can be used before exercise for performance improvement or after exercise for recovery.

Feng says running can produce a lot of strain on the body leading to increased levels of oxidative stress in the cells.

"In a healthy person, this is natural and will recede but a total body treatment in the NovoTHOR is a quick and efficient way for a non-injured runner to maximise recovery potential."

Cost: 15 mins - $65

The high of crossing the finish line inspires running fanatic Laura Hill to clock up the kilometres each week. Whether you're a newbie to the running scene or a seasoned athlete, Laura brings the latest running trends and gear to readers across Australia. With a day job in the corporate world and a busy toddler, Laura loves nothing more than lacing up her runners and hitting the pavement to sharpen her mind and challenge her body.

Follow Laura Hill on Twitter

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