Tips For A Healthy Post-Race Recovery
Knowing how to recover after a race is as important as knowing how to train beforehand. Our guidelines help you stay fit after your race is run.
It’s incredibly satisfying to cross the finish line after months of dedicated training. But smart running encompasses guidelines for post-race recovery as well as for pre-race training. Following smart recovery guidelines will help you avoid injury and position you to continue training successfully in the future.
In the first hour
Once you stop running, avoid post race chills by changing into dry comfortable clothes. If you have been running for several hours, put your feet up for 15 to 25 minutes to help facilitate blood flow, and relax. If you’ve sustained an injury like a muscle strain, assess the extent of the injury and seek help if you need it.
Your body needs water while you are running, and after you have finished your race. Drinking in response to thirst will aid your recovery.
Once you cross the finish line, wait about 30 minutes, and then treat yourself to a high-carb snack. Plan to enjoy a full meal of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats about three hours after you finish the race.
Within the first 12 hours
Indulge in a shower or bath to relax and rejuvenate. Seek out some serious nutrition, do a little celebrating (but don’t overdo the alcohol), and get a good night’s sleep.
Within 72 hours
Intersperse light activity with rest to support your body’s recovery. Your body will be vulnerable, so keep your diet well balanced and nutritious. Massaging your lower-body muscles will also help prevent you from tightening up, and can promote your body’s recovery.
Remember, the goal isn’t to run a single race, it is to make running an enjoyable part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, Plymouth, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
More resources for you
- Pursue Your Athletic Goals At Any Age
- Meet Julio Salazar; Runner And Founder Of Break The Stigma
- Runner Julio Salazar Knows There’s No Quick Fix For Running Injuries
- What To Eat Before You Race
- Tips to Prepare for Cold Weather Running
- Tips For Treating Shin Splint Pain
- Ask Dr. Voight: Why Are Sprinklers Banned On Marathon Routes?
Jack Skendzel, M.D., one of Summit Orthopedics’ sports medicine experts, shares his best advice for avoiding stress fractures during the summer outdoor sports season.
A physical therapist explains what you can expect during your first physical therapy appointment.