Good Friday morning!! And Happy Labor Day weekend! Do you have any fun plans for the holiday?
I wanted to share my tips for recovering after a long run or race. For seasoned runners, these are probably a no brainer, but when I started running, I had no idea there is a lot more to just lacing up and going for a run.
Hydrate well before, during and after. This seems simple, but it has proven to be a little tricky for me- 4 years later.
The key to hydrating is to start an hour or two is you have time before your run. I was always afraid to get side cramps if I hydrated while running but turns out that is a more desirable side affect than feeling sick during and hours after. Not fun.
I use plain water while training and Nuun after. Also another tip that has been a lifesaver is to drink a glass of a sports drink like Gatorade or Nuun before a long run or race.
PS you are welcome for the Bam butt.
Foam roll & stretch – Your muscles are still warm and easier to stretch out and roll tight areas. For me, it’s my hamstrings. Those punks get so tight. It only takes 10-15 minutes, but this can be so hard to do when you’re starving or on a time crunch. But it helps keep the injury punks away and that’s better than sitting on the sideline of a big race you planned on participating in.
Protein – It’s ideal to take in protein within 30 minutes post run to help build muscles and recover. This can be hard to do especially after a long run. For me eggs are my go to meal after a run because they are easy and I usually crave salt big time. Mike swears he’s going to buy me a salt lick. There are tons of other ways to get that protein in. Smoothies, chocolate milk & a chicken salad are just a few ideas.
Compression gear - I use compression socks & sleeves after a long run and feel like they really do help speed recovery so I can torture myself more often. I’m actually working on a compression sock comparison post, it’ll be up soon.
Leg drains – This one’s new to me. I’ve seen pro athletes elevating their legs on walls after workouts and I’m intrigued, though I haven’t tried it yet.
I found this article and thought it was interesting.
“Leg drains help with the venous blood return from your legs. After a long race blood wants to pool in the legs. That gives your legs that heavy, swollen feeling. Lymph and other fluids flow away from the legs and into the lower belly. Leg drains provide a gentle stretch to the calves, back and neck. According to Yoga Journal the pose also gives blood circulation a gentle boost toward the upper body and head, which creates rebalancing after standing for a long time. Danny Dreyer also recommends leg drains in the Chi Running book. According to Dreyer, “If your legs are not ‘cleaned out’ after each run, you could start your next run with some of the ‘exhaust’ from previous runs, which is no fun at all.”
Does anyone do this or have thoughts about it?
Coffee – Oh come on don’t even act like you didn’t see this one coming. Coffee is always a necessity, plus it makes life all unicorns and rainbows.
How do you recover?
What is your go to for protein after a workout?
What is the key to recovery for you?