10 Tips for Post-Run/Race Recovery - Less is More
Spending time and effort on recovery is just as important as all the strength and conditioning you are doing.
Recovering properly can make the difference between being able to race or not being able to run at all. Whether you are aiming for a Personal Best (PB); a podium place; or just for that feeling of satisfaction and achievement, it takes real dedication to go easy and recover properly rather than pushing yourself hard, day after day.
Recovery is very personal, there isn’t a one size fits all approach but here are some strategies that might help:
1. Always listen
Listen to your body, there is a difference between squeezing a bit more out of a tough session and pushing past pain and discomfort. Even if you are a professional athlete you need to be conscious that ignoring ‘a little niggle’ could turn into a full-blown injury. Is it really worth it?
Lengthening out your muscles after a run is important to help maintain flexibility and mobility as well as to flush any lactic acid out of your system. You’ve got a choice: dynamic stretches work well soon after your workout, while static stretches and foam rolling lengthen the muscles and can be relaxing. Target your major running muscles; glutes (piriformis stretch), quads and hip flexor, hamstrings and calves. (see some of the stretches in our previous blog post about warm ups/cool downs)
Last week I wrote all about fuel, and post run nutrition is key to efficient recovery. Try to hit that magic 20-30 minute feed window to replenish your muscles’ glycogen stores and top up your protein levels.
4. Passive recovery