Recovery after a long hard effort either in training or on race day is almost as important as the runs themselves. Giving attention to your recovery after a long run or race should be a priority so that you can keep meeting the demands you are putting on your body. Here are a few tips for aiding recovery:
Refuel and Rehydrate
Sometimes, the last thing we want to do after a hard effort is eat or drink, but taking the time refuel and rehydrate post-run is important in providing your body with the building blocks it needs to repair muscle. Eat and drink within 30 minutes of completing your run or race. Try this homemade recovery drink or have a slice of whole grain toast with avocado, nut butter or coconut oil. Follow up this with a hearty meal later on.
An ice bath is a great way to immediately reduce inflammation and aid in recovery. Throw on a sweatshirt and grab a hot cup of coffee or tea to help make the ice bath more bearable. Soak for 10-15 minutes. If you can’t get in an ice bath, consider using freezable wraps like these ones.
Stretch and Roll
Shortly after your run or race, take the time to stretch and roll muscles, especially ones that have a tendency to be chronically tight (you know, those muscles that ache when you get out of bed first thing in the morning). Breaking up lactic acid and lengthening muscles can help recovery.