Congratulations! You’ve finished your big race and now the key word is RECOVERY!
Taking care of yourself is important both to prevent injury, and to get you back to running as soon as possible. Here are a few important steps for quick recovery.
Immediately after the race- make sure that you cool down properly by walking or jogging for a bit too flush lactate and other wastes out of your system. Take in enough fluids to replace that which was lost during the race, and eat a small meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein. Post race massages and ice baths can also help to reduce inflammation.
For the first day or two after the race- exercise GENTLY to promote circulation by walking, swimming , cycling or doing an easy jog. Continue to eat well, drink fluids, and get plenty of rest!
When you begin running again- be sure to gradually increase mileage as you get back to a schedule. For full recovery, allow a least 1 easy day for every mile that you raced before adding back any kind of speed or harder workouts.
Enjoy the reduced workload which will help to restore fuel stores, repair any tissue damage that occurred during training and your race, and allow you a mental break.
Remember that recovery is more than just resting or running less. It’s eating quality foods, getting in high-quality sleep, flexibility exercises, maybe massage, and just resting in general. A calm, relaxed recovery phase restores your body, refreshes your mind, and provides some time off from the demands of training for a distance event. Just like a good night’s sleep, recovery is the secret ingredient many runners are missing out on. It takes patience, but it works.
Keep setting goals. In no time you will be planning your training for the next race!