Recovery is often overlooked in, well, pretty much every training program. When you lift hard, run hard, and train hard week after week, month after month, your going to have to start putting an emphasis on recovery. Even after the most intense of workouts, muscle damage only takes about 48 hours to repair. Unless the damage is done during an intense session with the face trainer:
"She SHREDDED 20lbs of that stubborn, hard to lose face weight. Now, those old jeans fit again, she has her long forgotten college-slut confidence back, and walking down the street with he skull exposed scares off would be purse snatchers."
Anyway, muscle damage is easy to fix. Your body is pretty efficient at doing it naturally but things like food, water, supplements, stretching, ice packs, steroids, etc. help get the damage under control faster so that you can train again. Sometimes, the inflammation from the recovery process takes a little bit longer to subside. Also, another big problem is the amount of stress that your nervous system takes during bouts of heavy training. Like I mentioned before, muscle damage is pretty much fixed within 48 hours. Nervous system activity can take up to two weeks to get to levels that don't mimic that of a schizophrenic serial killer.
"My Fran time is down, my bench press is up but, I am running out of places to hide the bodies."
Damn. She could really use a shower. Actually, she could probably use a Power Shower. Hydrotherapy has been used forever for a wide array of medical and psychological problems... which the women in the above picture has plenty of both. What a Power Shower, or a contrast shower for those who don't like things that sound bad ass, entails is alternating between hot and cold water in certain timed intervals in order to speed up nervous and muscular recovery. Everything from decreased muscle soreness, to increased ROM, to increased levels of Growth Hormone have been found in studies involving Power Showers.
'Well, how do I do it?'
A ratio of 3:1 to 4:1, hot to cold seems to work best. Instead of standing there with a thermometer in one hand and stop watch in the other, just turn the water up as hot as you can stand and count to 45, turn it down as cold as you can stand and count to 15. Do this at least 10 times. Always start with hot water and always end with cold to room temperature water.
You should probably go take a shower now anyway. I can smell you from here.
Sprint. Kill. Eat.