Post-Race Recovery for Runners
You trained, you raced, and now you’re ready to relax. Crossing that finish line is a cause for celebration, but don’t forget to do a little body maintenance work before cutting loose with your friends… or your Netflix account. Take a look at these simple post-race recovery habits that will help you transition from racing to relaxing without harming your body.
A cool down run or walk is important to aid overworked muscles in their recovery. Shortly after your race is finished, spend five or ten minutes on a relaxed jog or walk. Moving around instead of plopping down as soon as the race is over will help improve blood flow and allow your body to get rid of lactic acid and other metabolic waste. In other words, you’ll recover more quickly.
After your cool down, dedicate about ten minutes to stretching. Your muscles worked hard; they deserve to be treated to a nice stretch. Not only will this help with muscle recovery, but it will also help you decompress and reflect on your race day performance. Need some stretching inspiration? Check out these yoga poses for runners.
You just went through a lot of perspiration and lot of calories. It’s time to reload! Re-hydrate (water now, beer later) and be sure to grab food that’s high in protein and carbohydrates. If your stomach isn’t excited about processing food yet, grab a chocolate milk or sports drink as a post-race appetizer.
Now that you’ve properly thanked your body for getting you through a grueling race, it’s time to celebrate your accomplishment! Grab a beer if it’s being served and check out any post-race activities that might be taking place at your event. Cheers!