After talking about running four half marathons in October, I received quite a few comments about my recovery time, and I thought it would be a good idea to address how I approach recovery.
I think it’s extremely important to note that I am in no way racing any of these half marathons. I’m approaching every one as a training run in order to log mileage for Ragnar Las Vegas, so my recovery approach is similar to that of a long run and not a race.
1. Run regularly
When I first started running long distances I was constantly stiff and sore after my long runs. It took my body over a year of consistent running to learn how to recover from running. Now that I’m a (mostly) consistent runner, my body knows how to deal with all the recovery “stuff” quite efficiently.
2. Keep moving
After a long run it’s super tempting to just chill on the couch for the rest of the day. Try not to do that. Or, try to stand, move and walk a bit afterwards as just plopping yourself on the couch will result in extra stiff and sore muscles.
3. Eat and drink
After a long run you’ll have used up a significant portion of your body’s glycogen stores and will also probably be partially dehydrated. The experts recommend refueling within 30 minutes with a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Immediately after a run or race I like to drink the Vega Recovery Accelerator and will eat a meal once I feel up to it.
My mom and I were discussing post-run refueling last month and she brought up something she was when she trained for her first marathon: let your liver figure it out.
Basically, yes, you need to refuel, but don’t get too hung up on this 4:1 ratio. I’ve started incorporating this view into my shorter runs. I’ll skip my recovery drink so my liver learns how to better manage and deal with glycogen stores. I wouldn’t recommend this after long runs (I will always refuel properly) but for shorter runs (for me this is 12k and under) it’s something I’m experimenting with.
4. Roll and stretch
I won’t always stretch immediately after a run, but I will make sure I spend 15-30 minutes rolling and stretching that evening before bed.
My routine hasn’t changed over the past few months, so I’ll link you to a post (with video!) I did on this earlier this year.
5. Get a massage
I looooove massages. Love them.
I don’t get a massage weekly (I wish my wallet could afford that!) but I do try to get a massage at least once a month when I’m building up for a training cycle. Getting a massage won’t fix everything, but breaking up the adhesions is known to be beneficial (and also why rollers are awesome).
What are some of your post long run / race tips?
Are you a blogger interested in attending a free blog conference?
The Blog Well Summit is a free virtual blog conference being held October 17-19. That link you see is an affiliate link and if you purchase your Full Conference pass by clicking that link it will help me out with a bit of a commission (to help fund my full conference pass, because you better believe I’ll be buying one!)
Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Your support is appreciated. Thank you!