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.
Rehydrate. Your body needs water while you are running, and after you have finished your race. Drinking in response to thirst will aid your recovery.
Refuel. 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.