If you haven’t checked out my guest post on Sara’s blog – head on over and give it a read! I’m talking about how to stay mentally healthy when training.
Also, my post from Thursday was a big post and I really debated if it was worth publishing (because I knew not everyone would agree with me). I did hear back from a member of the organizing committee and the response was quite positive and they’ll be working to ensure the same issue doesn’t happen next year.
I wanted to wait until I felt recovered (and had attempted my first post-race run) before talking about how I approach race recovery.
Each race I learn more about my body and recovery, so I’m constantly tweaking and adjusting my recovery and how I approach it. Also, remember that everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you 🙂
I do my best to start pre-race recovery the day before the race. I tried to rest as much as I could on Saturday and hydrated as much as possible. Lindsay’s massage therapist told her that consuming lots (and lots!) of Vitamin C could help to minimize muscle soreness, so I had two EmergenC packets, 3L of iced tea, and….a beer 🙂
Immediately after a race I try to do a few things. First, if you can get in for a rub down massage at the event, I recommend it. It’s not the same as a sports massage, but helps the muscles to recover after a run. I also try to move as much as possible immediately following.
Yes, my legs are tired, but I do my best to not sit down. I’ll stand, sway back and forth and walk/hobble as much as possible immediately following. I may be walking rather slowly, but I’ve learned from experience that this is really helpful.
When I got home, I whipped up my Vega Recovery Accelerator with NCN l-glutatmine added in. I try to get this in me as quickly as possible. Since I started focusing on what I was consuming immediately after my training runs I noticed a significant improvement in my recovery time.
I also ran a bath with epsom salts (and enjoyed some french fries) before hopping n the shower. After my bath and shower hydration was the game and I drank roughly 5L of fluids over the course of the afternoon. I also strapped some ice packs to my lower legs (my problem area) for 20 minutes and really just spend the remainder of the day resting.
I could tell the run took a toll on my body as my resting heart rate was around 80 when I went to bed at 9pm , when it’s normally around 52-55. Rest was definitely needed!
I took Monday off work so I could sleep as much as I wanted/needed and could spend the day resting. I ended up sleeping for about 10 hours Sunday night (hooray!) and was happily surprised that I didn’t collapse to the ground when I stood up.
I spent a lot of the day hydrating, eating healthy food and marking assignments. The fire alarm ended up going off when I was working and I texted my concierge because although I was feeling pretty good, the thought of walking down 23 flights of stairs made me want to cry.
It was just a false alarm, but I let her know she could send the fire fighters up to my floor 😉
I also spent about an hour walking to loosen up my muscles and stretching.
Tuesday I was back at work and did my best to keep moving, hydrating and eating well.
I’d been planning on going to a yoga class and Lindsay emailed me earlier in the day to ask if I’d be interested in going, so it was perfect! I had a yoga date with Lindsay! The yin class was hot and relaxing and exactly what I needed.
Thursday was the day I was looking forward to allllll week. Massage day!!
I did originally have it booked for Monday, but my hydration pack bruised my back and I figured it would be better to have that healed a bit before my massage.
It. Was. Wonderful.
After a week off (I debated running on Saturday, but I ended up spending the day at Spruce Meadows with my mom instead! Definitely a good choice!!) it was time to test out my legs.
I went out just to run and felt really good. My legs feel pretty recovered from a week of rest.
I’m taking June without any kind of plan for running. I do have a 10k run on June 14 which I won’t be racing, just running for fun with friends.
I did spend some time this weekend making a tentative plan from now until November, but it’s very much subject to change based upon how I’m feeling on any given day.
Tell me: How do you approach recovery from a big race?
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