Run training involves not only the pre run training but also the post run recovery.
For those who are scheduled to or have just run a big race, what is the best way for you to recover from the race?
Immediately after the race focus on:
- Replenishing the fluids lost – There is no consensus on what to consume after a race, but replacing fluids lost and your carbohydrate supply is of prime importance to restoring normal energy levels. For more specific details seek the professional advise of a sports oriented dietitian.
- Rewinding the system - Try walking backwards. You’ve just spent 45 minutes or more moving forward, rewind the system by walking backwards.
- Avoiding cramps/muscle spasm - The quads, the calves and the lower back muscles are very active while running and commonly tighten up. Gently stretch these muscle groups to improve circulation and inhibit muscle cramping. Hold stretches for 20 – 30 seconds.
- Inhibiting pain – Pain can indicate a significant injury. If there is any pain use ice and elevation to improve circulation, inhibit spasm, and pain. Ice for up to 10 minutes at a time as prolonged icing can cause “freezer burns”.
In the days that follow focus on promoting tissue recovery and healing by:
- Performing light exercise – Rapid walking forwards, sideways, and backwards helps restore normal muscle flexibility, improves circulation and decreases muscle tightness.
- Continuing with good nutrition habits – Stay hydrated. Make sure to eat proper amounts of protein to help you rebuild and repair damaged tissue. The American Dietetic Association recommends between .54-.77 g of protein per day per pound of body weight for active individuals.
- Lightly massaging sore muscles – to increase circulation and speed soft tissue recovery.
Try these strategies to recover faster, train better, and to enhance your next performance.
For more tips on run training, sports performance, and injury prevention, please contact our office, or respond through the comments section. And for more tips like these just follow Baudry Therapy Center on Twitter, or like Baudry Therapy on Facebook.
Photo credit: Raul Lieberwirth