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What You've Missed at Run United's 1st Enervon HP Recovery Run

With the rise of new training frontiers that are now mostly based in science, from understanding the human kinetics up to how our body reacts from the different nutrition and meals that we take, it is no doubt that we still have a lot to learn and a lot more to improve as we understand the essential knowledge about proper training, nutrition, and as well as the importance of recovery.

Sure most of us train wholeheartedly in preparation for an upcoming big event or what we call our "A" race. We progress our training regimens, taking into account our nutrition and weekly mileage plan. Some would also take into account the recovery days, but the question is, are we really recovering to a more progressive and stronger state for the next activity?

This is what the advocacy of the RU HP Recovery Run 2014 which was held last Sunday, December 14, 2014 at Bonifacio Global City. Unlike most of the races, this event has no declared winners, but instead all runners were advised to treat this activity as their recovery run.

Pacers were deployed with varying target finish times for both the 10K and 5K recovery distances. For the 5K, I was assigned for the 0:40-minutes finish time or 8-minutes per kilometer target pace, together with Dennis Ravanzo (RunningPinoy), Allan Enriquez (RunningFreeManila), and our lead pacer and Unilab's Elite runner -- John Chicano and Raul Cuevas of Bike King.

2014 Run United HP Recovery Run Pacers

The event was not just designed where every participant has to follow a certain pace, cross the finish line, get their loots, and go home. The event was so planned to help educate the running community on how proper recovery regimens can be applied to help achieve future PRs (personal records).

That goal was achieved by the following village/booth activities and recovery zones, which you have missed, if you were not able to join or if you left early (like me).

Below are the unique activities from the three (3) main zones of the village that the participants enjoyed and learned from after the recovery run. All these zones were manned in partnership with University of Santo Tomas' College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Sports Sciences and Physical Therapy Departments.

1. Physical Recovery Zone - involves the following recovery regimens: Cold treatment; Active isolated stretching; Self Myofascial release; and Periodization Counseling.

  • Cold treatment - helps to suppress inflammation, flush harmful metabolic debris from your muscles, produce greater and longer lasting change in deep tissues, reduce tissue breakdown and swelling, and increase the healing process.
  • Active isolated stretching - increases the neuromuscular re-education, great benefit in wound and injury healing as well as detoxification of the body; also increases flexibility that slows the process of fatigue, and elasticity that impacts the agility, speed, and endurance; prevents lactic acid build-up associated with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
  • Self Myofascial release - releases tension around the joints, IT band, tightness, and deep glute release. Also allows proper recovery and help stay away from several common injuries, and regain full and functional range of motion. Participants also used foam roller that provided a release similar to what you will get from massage or trigger point therapy.
  • Periodization counseling - three (3) series of talks where participants learned about how to improve performance by expanding the VO2max (maximal aerobic capacity) to the greatest possible extent; increase the strength of muscles and connective tissues to help train and progress without unplanned interruption; lift your lactate threshold (LT) to the highest possible level; optimizing your power/muscle force to learn how to exert that force more quickly than usual; be economic as possible, develop specific endurance, and restore yourself regularly and systematically.

2. Food and Nutrition Zone - here the participants learned the benefits of proper food and nutrition intake, which can help enhance adapation to training, prepare the body for the next run/exercise, maintain and boost the immune function, prevent injuries and muscle wasting.

3. Mental Recovery Zone - any sports must be prepared well not just physically, but also mentally. In this zone, the participants learned about how to increase their motivation, achieve their sense of well-being, reduction of training and/or life stress, and enhance an athlete's physiological recovery from running.

One of the active isolated stretching exercises
Allan, Dennis, Me, and Sir Raul Cuevas (photo by Unilab)

I was only able to participate at the Active isolated stretching after finishing our pacing for the 40-minutes 5K runners as me and Ms. Roselle Dadal (RunningDiva) still have to attend on our next event of the same day at Marikina. Missing these zone recovery activities was an opportunity lost to gain new knowledge. I hope Unilab and Run United will continue these kind of programs and I am looking forward for another concluding Recovery run next year.

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