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  • Oars + Alps

You’ve made through a few endurance workouts, assessed your mental toughness, and made it to Week 3 of the Alps Challenge. This week we’re highlighting some of the most important endurance work that happens off the course because any powerful machine needs some top notch maintenance.

In addition to being Oars + Alps Chief Fitness Officer, Matt Wilpers is a big car buff: ‘Fitness teaches us that we must take care of our bodies, inside and out, if we expect them to perform well. I always like to compare things to cars …High performance cars often require a lot of maintenance.’ High performance endurance cars take even more.

Matt Wilpers sitting on yoga mat with Oars + Alps Athlete Line collection around him

Endurance Is Like Car Racing

To extend Matt’s analogy, consider the cars that race the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Here the winner is not who can go the fastest but rather who can go the farthest in 24 hours straight of racing. Unlike drag racing, for example, racing at Le Mans requires fast cars that can stay in one piece for hours on end without taking a lot of time in the pits. Certainly this grueling race requires top notch equipment and an experienced rider, but also essential to victory is intense care for the vehicle off the race course - in one word: recovery.

Importance of Recovery

The same is true for endurance athletes: in order to push our bodies farther and longer, we need to be even more intentional about recovery. As Matt Wilpers notes, ‘Recovery is where all the gains are made from your training sessions.’ Exercise creates tiny tears in your muscles, depletes glycogen stores, leads to the build up of waste products like lactic acid, and can make you feel mentally exhausted. How well you facilitate recovery determines how well muscles heal and grow, fuel stores are topped off, waste products are excreted, and whether your mind has a chance to refresh so you can tackle your next workout at an even stronger level (1).

Building Your Endurance: Challenge 3

This week we challenge you to take a page out of the Matt Wilpers training guide and prioritize one of the most important aspects of athletic recovery: sleep. ‘The most important part of recovery is sleep. On a usual night, I am in bed by 9 or 10pm and then up again the next morning at 5am. Of course the more training volume I take on, the more time I allow for sleeping, including naps.’

Here’s the challenge: Aim to go to sleep 30 minutes earlier than usual for a full week. And we’re talking good sleep here. Practice good sleep hygiene by avoiding screens before bed, lowering the lights, and calming your mind for some deep restorative rest. Let us know how the extra shut eye affects your mood and your ability to tackle long workouts.

Products for the Long Haul

Our products are designed for the active individual, so of course we have included recovery products into your regimen. Each week we'll point out a couple and why they're great for those who exercise. 

Epsom Salt Bar Soap

Enjoy this calming, Eucalyptus-scented soap as you wash away the cares of the day and get ready for a night of soothing sleep. This bar is made with nourishing ingredients Epsom Salt and Arnica, both long regarded for their muscle-soothing properties.

Man in shower applying Epsom Salt Bar Soap to chest

Overnight Renewal Serum

One more step to your grooming routine? Hear us out. This serum helps repair some of the damage and restore moisture to skin that’s been out in the elements for hours on end. Plus, don’t underestimate a quick facial massage to release some tension before bed.

Man holding Oars + Alps Overnight Renewal Serum
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