I used to shrug off recovery after a workout, not thinking that I needed it. I mean, I got my workout in, who has time for stretching, proper nutrition and resting? Last year, by focusing on recovery, I was able to race sixteen times and PR in every distance: 5k, 8k, 10k, half marathon AND marathon! So far this year, I have been able to go farther, racing a 50k and 50 mile, placing in both races each time. How have I been able to sustain a high training volume and have repeated success? I credit it to two things, plant-based diet and the EDGE Athlete Lounge.
EDGE Athlete Lounge is where I go for my training needs. It’s half gym, half recovery studio, one complete package. The time I spend at EDGE has helped me take my training to the next level by focusing on the AFTER. The, “ok I ran, now what?” phase of training. By focusing on proper recovery, athletes can train smarter and get stronger while reducing risk of injury.
Located on Elston Street in Chicago, IL, EDGE offers free parking, quick access to the 606 Trail, and is easy to get to. When you first walk in, you wouldn’t think that you are walking into a recovery mecca for athletes. You first see a modern cafe, with a cool members mug wall. They offer great recovery smoothies, food, and even some vegan snacks! But when you look past the counter, behind a glass sliding door, you see the real magic of EDGE.
Inside looks like a ski lodge. Big, brown, comfy chairs, a fire place, TV and high vaulted ceilings. Athletes are sitting in chairs, chatting with friends, working out in the bike studio, or upstairs in the gym. You’re immediately struck by the vibe- welcoming, fun and relaxed, but busy with athletes who are focused on optimizing their training. That’s when you notice all the gadgets. If you’re a running nerd like me, this is the part when you start to geek out.
Work Out at EDGE
Like at any other gym, you can get a great workout at EDGE. There are Woodway treadmills for running and a Wahoo Kickr studio for cyclists. Cyclists can ride what they want, when they want, and can even store their bikes at EDGE. Conveniently, EDGE offers bike storage so you don’t have to schlep your bike to each workout.
EDGE also has free weights, kettle bells, body bars, even a TRX rope in it’s upstairs studio. If you don’t want to workout out on your own, you can attend a variety of classes, from cycling to yoga to strength. Some members have even started a swim club at a near by location. The strength classes are my favorite; they’re all designed to focus on possible weaknesses for runners: stability, core, hips and glutes.
Recovery at EDGE Athlete Lounge
How can you recover at EDGE? Let’s start with my typical day. After a strength class, running workout or race, I’ll utilize their recovery tools. After a shower (they have free towels plus shampoo & conditioner in the stalls!) I change into my pool outfit for some hot and cold tub therapy. EDGE has two giant tubs. One is filled with cold water, the other hot. The purpose of the cold water therapy is to reduce inflammation, remove lactic acid and normalize your adrenaline production. The purpose of the hot water therapy is to increase blood flow in order to relax muscles and flush out metabolic waste.
What I like to do is called a contrast bath: spend 8 minutes in the ice bath, then 8 minutes in the hot tub, and another 4 minutes back in the cold tub. This contrast accelerates the body’s natural process of clearing out waste, resulting in a faster recovery. It’s cold, but with a neck towel and hot drink you can make it through! Afterwards, you get to sign the wall and brag about making it through the bath.
After that, I change into warm clothes and head to the chairs. Here is where I can sit in the RecoveryPump Boots. These boots again help to remove metabolic waste faster than rest alone. They maximize circulation and decrease inflammation. Spending 1-2 hours in the recovery boots produces similar results as 12-48 hours of rest! There are similar devices that target the core and arms.
I also like using their laser touch therapy and electro stim device. I remember using stim in my high school’s physical therapy office when I rolled an ankle. Both of these devices stimulate the muscles to help treat injuries and promote active recovery. The result is faster recovery. Even if I don’t have a full blown injury, I use them to treat any minor aches and pains.
EDGE Athlete Lounge Community
Yes, the recovery tools are what drew me to it in the first place, but the community is why I stayed. The first time I walked in, I found myself surrounded by other athletes who were as goal-oriented and ambitious as me. When I heard people cracking jokes and playing with the pugs, I knew they were also approachable. I found my people. From trail runs on Sundays, to support during races, to the pugs, the community is what really makes EDGE special.
EDGE Athlete Lounge is a one-stop-shop for athletes. Athletes can complete a workout and then immediately eat and recover. Using the recovery tools at EDGE allows athletes to feel fresh after a hard workout faster than just rest alone. This leads to more quality training sessions. Higher quality leads to better results. Combining the recovery with a welcoming atmosphere and supportive community makes EDGE Athlete Lounge the place to go in Chicago for athletes.
Do you have a heavy load of training coming up? Are you recovering from a race? Have a race this weekend? Returning from injury? If you answered yes to any of those questions then you need to visit EDGE Athlete Lounge Lucky for you, I’m partnering with EDGE to host a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a complementary day pass. The day pass entitles you to full access to classes and recovery tools for free!
To enter, comment below with your favorite way to recover after a workout. For additional entries, visit this Instagram post. Must be 18 years or older to win. Pass good for single day use. Contest begins on May 24th and ends May 26th. Winner will be chosen using random.org and contacted in the evening on May 26th
Good luck and happy running!
Disclaimer: These opinions are my own. I was not compensated in anyway for this post.