After 7 years of running, I have a few post-long run recovery rituals that have become an expected part of life. These little (and sometimes big) acts and eats are almost a habit now so I don’t give a lot of thought to them any longer. But they came from a place when I was a new runner. My body needed a lot of attention to be able to bounce back from a long half marathon or marathon training run. Here are some of my long run recovery rituals. Let me know what yours are.
1. I chug water. Immediately after a long run, I’m rarely hungry, but I’m THIRSTY. Super thirsty. Before I set out on a run I fill a big bottle up with water and place it in the fridge. (This is in addition to any water I take with me on the run.) And when I get back it’s the only thing I want. If I’m away from home at the end of my run, I bring along some money to buy a big bottle of H2O.
2. I don’t stretch! At this point, I’m super sweaty—no matter the time of year. My clothes are disgusting and I’m uncomfortable. So, if I’m being completely honest, I take a shower (or ice bath) right when I get home. It’s not ideal, but I think 12+ miles of running is enough torture for one day. Trying to get bendy in sopping wet clothes is not my idea of a good time.
3. Refuel! After a quick shower, I make sure to get in some good nutrients in the form of a protein shake or balanced meal. It’s usually early in the day, so I’ll have an egg sandwich or pancakes with peanut butter.
4. Finally, I stretch. After I’m out of my gross clothes and properly fed, I actually enjoy stretching out my muscles. Most of the time I’m still pretty warm so it’s nice to stretch into any tightness and relax. I usually do this in front of the TV for some extra entertainment value.
5. Ice. This is not an every time thing, but if my knees feel tired or achey at all, I ice them a bit.
6. Relax. I try to rest for the remainder of the day so I can bounce back and feel like a normal member of society. A little champagne doesn’t hurt either…
What are your Long Run Recovery Rituals?
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