Today, I'm recovering from running the Broad Street Run. My muscles are sore and while recovery is on my mind, it's only fitting that I share some tips for post-run.
-The first thing to do after crossing the finish line is to keep walking. Grab your medal, banana, water, etc. and continue to walk around for at least five minutes. It's important to bring the heart rate back to normal.
- Drink 8-16 ounces of a sports drink to replenish lost electrolytes.
- Stretch, focusing on hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors. Try a squat stretch. Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointed out slightly. Squat down with butt almost touching the ground, but make sure knees are in line with the ankles. You can place the hands on the ground for more balance. This stretch feels great and works the hip flexors, calves, and lower back.
-Eat a combination of protein and carbs within 30 minutes post-run. Protein aids in muscle recovery and carbohydrates are crucial for restocking glycogen stores. Try peanut butter on a bagel. If your stomach isn't up for eating yet, try my personal favorite; chocolate milk. It is the perfect combination of protein and carbs to restore muscles and it tastes good too!
-Rest and relax the remainder of the day. If taking a nap isn't possible then rest with the feet up for 15-30 minutes. This will promote circulation. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and eat a balanced meal of carbs and protein.
-Before bed, soak in a cold or cool bath for 10 minutes to aid in muscle recovery and prevent soreness the next day.
-Give your legs a massage. Use a foam roller if you have one. This will help flush out the lactic acid in the muscles. I like to use an Epsom lotion (I found it at my local drugstore). It is supposed to be the same as taking an epsom salt bath, only without the bath. I think it works pretty well.
-Take one day of recovery for every mile raced. This doesn't mean complete rest. It means taking it easier and doing more cross-training.
Recovery is vital for runners. Hopefully these tips will help you make the most of your post-run rest.
Written by Genie Bianchi