Let’s talk about race recovery.
I don’t know about you but after a long race I feel so exhausted yet exhilarated after I cross that finish line. Even though I want to just crash and relax I know this is the last think you should do. Just keep moving!! You have pushed those leg muscles so hard you need to slowly cool them down and do a light jog or slow walk to prevent cramping.
Hydration!! Hydration!! Hydration!! I can recall one time I forgot to drink water after a race and ended up with the worse cramps in my legs. I promised myself I would never forget to hydrate after a race. You also want to replenish those electrolytes, so maybe grabbing a sport drink, juice or even coconut water would be great.
Stretch those muscles! This is something I really need to work on myself. I am the worse for not stretching before or after a run and I eventually pay for it or end up having a terrible race time. The more thoroughly you stretch after a race, the easier it will be to get out of bed the next day. Don’t forget to ice down injuries if needed.
Feeling hungry? Of course you are, you just burned off more than 1,500 calories running that half marathon. It’s time to refuel. Most all races have one of my favorite fruits bananas, but also may have bagels and sports bars. Be sure to grab some of these treats and refuel that body.
Once you have retuned back home/hotel and after you have taken a refreshing shower/bath its finally time to relax. You then may want to use your foam roller to reduce muscle soreness. Spend some time on the parts that hurt the most, like your calves, quads or hamstrings. The deep-tissue massage of a foam roller speeds healing by drawing blood flow to damaged muscles. Always remember to hydrate afterwards.
Now I am defiantly not one to ask when you should start back your long runs. It’s been two weeks since the Diva Half Marathon and I have only been walking a few miles at a time. I do want to start running a little this week.
Happy running and recovery!!