26 Jun Science & Sense…Top Recovery Tips

So what is the best way to recover? Importantly, do what is right for you, what is good for the 10K running goose may not be good for the Tough Mudder running gander. Everyone has their own thoughts when it comes to getting back to it but listen to your body and decide when is best for you to once again crank up the volume and intensity of training.

Running places orthopaedic stress on the body so here are a few post-race tips to give you the best chance of recovering well and speedily…

Hydration

Rehydrate as soon as you can after a race. Make sure to take into account the weather, the hotter the day the more water you’ll need to replace. Replace with water prior to topping up tank with beer, wine or other delicious beverages.

Cool down

However tempting it is, don’t just stop when you cross the finish line, keep walking to slowly bring your heart rate down and reduce stiffness building up in your joints. Before you get cold ensure you have a good 30 minute stretch. Use a foam roller or trigger ball to make these stretches more effective.

Re-fuel

After a race, it is important to re-fuel with the right foods. A good mixture of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Muscles break down during exercise so re-fueling with protein is vital to repair micro-tears and recover quicker. It is unlikely that the contents of the complimentary post race goodie bag will fully deliver these requirements (unless upcoming race leaflets are made from avocado and walnuts) so look to snaffle something else pronto.

Gentle massage

A gentle and short sports massage will help to flush out lactic acid and toxins. However remember to drink more water post massage.

Go to bed

After a race, try and get a good night sleep to speed recovery. The swiftness of descent into sleep will undoubtedly be influenced by the level of alcohol used in re-hydration process.

Get a life (outside running)

Harsh but fair and not an easy proposition for all!  After a race it is important to prioritise rest and recovery however, some of this can be active. Give those running muscles and joints a break and try another activity such as swimming or cycling.

By doing the above you can look forward to your next race without the worry of having to walk crab like down stairs for a few days afterwards!

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