Monday, 13 April 2015

Post-Run Recovery Tips


So, as I shared in my April Goals post on Thursday, I ran a half marathon this weekend. And what a half marathon in turned out to be! I somehow (?) managed a new personal best of 1 hour and 57 minutes, which I could not be more over the moon with. All that leg strength work at the gym totally did the business, and I found the run more of a pleasure than a hard slog. Looking forward to taking this strength into the rest of my running and weight training. Happy face.

Now, I've got to say, my limbs are aching already (and I have a cracking blister. Lush.), so I've pulled together some handy tips for post-race recovery. It's one thing to train hard and run a good race, but recovery is a whole other ball game. I regularly follow these steps after a hard training session or race event, to keep my body in top form.

So, here we go - here's how I'll be helping to heal those aching muscles post-run.

Refuel
After 13.1 miles of running, refuelling in the right way is essential for muscle repair and restocking those energy stores.

Something with a high protein and carb content will be key for your first big meal after a race (steak and sweet potato chips, pls) but straight after the race, grabbing something quick like a banana and coconut water is ideal for a quick energy hit. I did this straight after my run and also followed it up with an energy boosting coconutty maca smoothie after my drive back from Sheffield. The maca powder totally hit the spot with it's energy raising properties and even a couple of hours after having this smoothie, I felt totally revitalised. Good old maca.

Stretch
To make sure those limbs don't stiffen up and you don't end up walking around like John Wayne for a week, stretch. Lie on the floor with your legs up the wall, crack out that foam roller! Stretching straight after running is something that I usually forget (tut), so when I've finish a race now, I do a really quick stretch off for 5-10 minutes, and then a more focused stretch about an hour afterwards. I'll also be limbering up with some yoga over the next few days, and in the spirit of my April Goals, stretching it alll out with Yoga with Adriene.

Soak
Get those sea salts to hand and liberally chuck them in a hot bath - the minerals in these guys help to sooth achey muscles and relax the body. I'll be doing the double after my run, and bringing out the Lush bath bombs for a super indulgent second soak. Definitely deserve a bit of indulgence after a long run, amirite?

Relax
My advice? Don't do any exercise the day after the run. Just chill the hell out. Your muscles have been through a lot and they need some time to get to know themselves again. I'll be chilling out, on the sofa and ploughing through my latest holy grail read, Amelia Freer's Eat. Nourish. Glow. This women seriously knows what she's talking about and her practises are helping me no end with my Nutrition Advisor course. Get this is your Amazon basket now, and see what all the hype is about.

How do you reboot after a run or fitness challenge?
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