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Running and Recovery
You are finished with your hard training run for the day. Maybe you just finished a hard temp run, an intense track workout or a long marathon training run with some of it at race pace. You finish your run and you feel spent, wiped out, zonked and your legs feel trashed and like absolute jell-o. Now What? In order to make it to your next training run in one piece and recovered every runner needs their “runners recovery toolbox” to help to get back into top running form.
What’s in your Runner’s Recovery Toolbox?
Now that you have put in the hard work running you need to do some “work” recovering. Here are some things that you can do to get your body back up to speed and some “tools” that you might need:
- Eat a small snack/meal immediately after your run to begin the process of muscle recovery and glycogen store replenishment.
- Stick your legs in an ice bath or if you are trail running you can find a cold stream or brook. While the cold can be excruciating this will help lessen any inflammation
- Eat again 1 or 2 hours later. You should aim to eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates, protein and fat. You may be feeling hungrier at this point too!
- Get out the foam roller (I prefer The GRID or the EvoFit ENSO Roller).
- Ice any areas that need it, this can be done in place of an ice back (Dr. Cool ICE Therapy Wraps are perfect for this or Peas Cold Therapy)
- Hydrate! Replenish what you lost on your run. Fruit Juice is great because it contains carbohydrates and electrolytes or consuming chocolate milk is great as well because it has the added benefit of protein along with carbohydrates and protein.
- Go the homeopathic route to relieve muscle soreness. Try applying Arnica gel to areas that are sore after your training run is complete and in the days following.
- Try an Active Release Therapy (ART) Session (ART is soft tissue system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves) or a Myofascial Massage (Myofascial release (MFR) therapy focuses on releasing muscular shortness and tightness). Both can be helpful in alleviating nagging issues to help prevent injury and to relieve muscle soreness.
- Put your feet up. Take a rest day or tack on an extra one if one was not enough.
- Get out your yoga mat and do some stretching! Gentle yoga the day following intense training can help with deep stretching.
Every runner is different and we don’t all need the same things following hard running. It is important to take the time to recover so that you can optimize your next training session. Take care of your body and whenever possible approach recovery in as a significant part of your training. Without proper recovery you will not be able to give 100% effort.
What “tools” are in your Runner;s Recovery Toolbox?