Rest Day Brags: Visiting the Athlete Recovery Lab

Since resuming training a few weeks ago, I’ve focused on recovery and preventing reinjury. It seems like the greatest predictor of injuries is being injured in the past. Often runners don’t address the root cause of an injury, fall back into the habits that got them injured, or develop compensation injuries. This because a vicious cycle with what seems like no escape.

My #1 goal as a runner is to remain injury-free and train consistently, above any race distance or time goals. When you can’t stay healthy enough to make it to the race’s starting line, any thoughts of a Boston Qualifier, personal record, or goal time are out of the window.

Last week, I visited the Athlete Recovery Lab, a new business located in Mt. Pleasant. The Athlete Recovery Lab is a full service facility for athlete recovery, injury prevention, and performance needs. It offers stretch therapy, sports massage, kinesio taping, compression therapy, and more.

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The lab’s staff features sports physiologist and owner, Jeremy, along with a physical therapist, massage therapist, stretch instructor, and a movement specialist. You can book one-on-one sessions with the professionals, and the lab also has a large self-recovery area with devices from the leading companies in athlete recovery.

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After running a 6 x 800m track workout the day before, I tested out the NormaTec Recovery Boots. The Athlete Recovery Lab is one of the only places in South Carolina where you can try out the recovery boots, which are normally seen at marathon or triathlon expos. We’re fortunate to have a recovery resource so close to where we train- the lab is just miles from the Cooper River Bridge.

The NormaTec boots use compressed air to massage your legs, mobilize fluids, and speed recovery. When you put them on, they inflate like the Michelin man, and you feel your legs recovering.

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Just like a massage, the boots first compress your legs and then release them, up and down your leg. I felt the massage from my ankles all the way up to my glutes- possibly because I was sitting on the edges of the boots. I asked Jeremy about this, and he said the boots accommodate athletes of all sizes and shapes. The attachments come in a small and large size, so whether you’re  5’0” or 6’4”, you can use them to recover.

I wore the boots for about 45 minutes while relaxing with a magazine and watching the foot traffic on Coleman Blvd. The boots are kind of warm, and I was so relaxed that I almost fell asleep.

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The boots attach to a control unit, and NormaTec offers other compression systems for the arms and lower back/hips. Whether you’re a runner or triathlete, or a football player or MMA/BJJ enthusiast, recovery is an important part of your sport. Most athletes have at least two “quality” days per week in their training, and if you can recover from these, you can perform better on race day or in your game or fight.

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When I got up, I felt like I had a sports massage. The next day, I ran a 30 minute tempo run that went really well, despite being one of my first tempo runs of the season. I’d like to think the NormaTec boots and my trip to the Athlete Recovery Lab helped me ace the workout.

I encourage you to visit the Athlete Recovery Lab and learn how you can recover from your summer workouts and races. The lab is located at 725 Coleman Blvd in Mt. Pleasant, SC, and open Mon-Fri from 6 AM to 7 PM and 8 AM – 7 PM on Saturday. You can contact them by phone, e-mail, and follow them on social media.

Athlete Recovery Lab

725 Coleman Blvd, Unit 116, Mt. Pleasant SC

(843) 608-9787

info@athleterecoverylab.com

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11 Responses to Rest Day Brags: Visiting the Athlete Recovery Lab

  1. Oh I TOTALLY would have fallen asleep in that chair! Looks amazing!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      So the chair itself isn’t super comfy, but I’ve seen people who own these systems using them in their homes on the couch… and I would definitely fall asleep in that case. I was almost asleep there in the studio!

  2. I have seen these in tons of pictures and am always very intrigued.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      They’re great- I’m glad we have a place here in town where we can use them. Like you, I’d always seen the boots on Instagram and blogs until now.

  3. This just reminded me that there is a recovery lounge thing local to me that I have never checked out. As my mileage starts building I should definitely consider stopping in. Sounds like a very relaxing rest day!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You should definitely stop in- the higher the mileage creeps up, the more important recovery seems to become. I love the idea of recovery lounges or centers.

  4. As a professional triathlete I couldn’t agree more, recovery boots are amazing. I have been using Normatec Pulse for 15 months ($1395) and less expensive set called Air Relax for 10 months ($370). I did do a full write-up between the two on some subtle differences between them. Regardless I also have experience with the older Normatec Systems. Recovery Lab should really invest in the new Normatec Pulse System IMHO they are really nice. The Air Relax is a great price point for those that want to be able to use them at home but can’t afford Normatec. Happy Recovery

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks for responding- and subscribing. I’ve heard of the Air Relax, which seem more affordable for home use. One of my friends recently bought a set of Normatec boots (I guess an older model?) used and got a great deal on those. I do agree the boots are quite pricey to own, but everyone has different budgets and needs too.

  5. I love your #1 running goal. So smart of you! If you think about it, staying injury free and steady with training is what brings the good times, new race distances, and BQ!

    The Athlete Recovery Lab looks so, so cool! I don’t think we have anything like those boots around here. I think I’d like to try them after just being on my feet all day, haha. Thanks for sharing this cool experience!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      The NormaTec website has a locator where you can find recovery centers or places like this to try out the boots. I bet they would feel great after a long day on your feet. Sometimes my legs feel rough after walking all day, like on vacation. It can be even tougher than say, a hard run, because you are also standing all day as well and on your feet longer.

  6. Elizabeth C. says:

    Those boots are HUGE on you! LOL. I agree that being proactive about injuries is far better than reactive. Sounds like a good facility to have in your town!

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