Recovering from a running session can be a real pain…quite literally!
Most people focus on the running part of their workout, but the recovery part is just as important as the workout, if not more so. This is because improper recovery can lead to injury and potentially permanent damage if you are not careful.
Surprisingly it’s something that too many people don’t even bother with. (Yes, I’ve been guilty of skipping the stretch and cool down one too many times!) After all, you get inside from your run, you feel great, the endorphins are pumping. You’ve really achieved something!
But it’s not over til it’s over – and that includes a good post run recovery regime. Here are 10 hacks to make your post run recovery more effective.
Pay attention to your warm up
Don’t just dial it in (Sorry – I’m channeling Jillian Michaels workout DVD’s I know). Do dynamic stretching to get your muscles moving.
Hydrate before, during and after
Don’t skimp on water. It is essential and can quickly vanish and affect your performance on hot or dry days, especially in the cold of winter
Don’t let yourself get too hot or too cold, as this can cause tense muscles, which will be more prone to injury.
Warm up more in winter
Take more time to warm up in order to get your muscles moving well in order to avoid injury. Cold muscles make it that much harder during your run as well as recovery afterwards.
Cool down more in summer
Take more time with your stretching and cooling down after a run in the warm weather so your muscles do not get too cold too quickly and seize up.
Plan your runs carefully
Once you get into a routine, you will have your base run, an easy run, a long run, and some speed work as well in most cases. Each of these require different strategies, and different recovery times. For instance, you couldn’t do a long, intense run every day. Get out your calendar and put down no more than 2 each week, 2 days apart. On the days after, do an easier run, commonly referred to as a recovery run. If you are racing, put in some speed at the start or end of a base run a couple of times per week.
Cool down properly
Do both dynamic and static stretches to improve flexibility and elongate the muscles. Don’t come to a sudden halt, as that is a sure-fire way to injure yourself.
Replace electrolytes promptly, especially on hot days
A banana, chocolate and peanut butter smoothie made with dairy or soy milk will restore all you need after run and be a delicious way to enjoy breakfast or a filling snack.
Add protein to your diet
Protein will aid in recovery after each run. Try salmon, tofu and beans.
Get 8 hours of rest each night to aid in recovery.
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