Ryan's Training Tip Tuesday--Cool It Down

RUNegades Training Tip Tuesday - Cool It Down
The cool down is in that bucket of things that you-know-you-should-do-but-don’t-always-do. It’s in there, rattling around with "eating spinach" and "calling your mother".
The objective of a cool down is to provide your body with a gradual transition back to its pre-workout state. The benefits include:
  1. a healthy transition for your cardiovascular system — if you stop cold after your workout and your heart rate lowers abruptly, all that blood is still in your totally jacked legs, bruh. This can lead to dizziness or fainting if your heart has difficulty adjusting to the change in load.
  2. aid to the recovery process — by continued flow of oxygenated blood through the legs without creating any more damage to muscle tissue.
  3. stress relief — a cool down provides some space to appreciate what you’ve just accomplished and allows you to soak in those endorphins for a while. Enjoy it — you’ve earned it.
  4. an excellent opportunity for stretching, as the muscles are warmed up and pliant.
Despite these benefits, the cool down is often skipped. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the top three are:
  1. Time
  2. Time
  3. Time
As runners, we tend to think of our run as solely the “work” portion of the workout: the distance to be covered, the pace to be held, the intervals to be hammered. We want to get to those things, do them well, and then be done. When it’s time to cool down, the workout is …over, right?
This week’s tip is to give the cool down a try — at least as much time as you might give to your warmup. If you can, try to budget an extra 10-20 minutes or so for a proper cool down (light jogging followed by stretching). If you have a heart rate monitor you can use it to determine when your heart rate has recovered, or simply count your pulse to do the same thing.

Leave a comment