Effective Post-Race Recovery Tips
These tips will get you back on your feet in no time
Are you coming off a long race and need to keep training so you can nail your big race?
Yeah, I’ve been there too. You’ve done the training and gotten some good data out of this race, but it’s not the peak race, so you can’t slack off and take significant time off. You’ve got bigger goals this season!
What do you do and how do you recover so you can keep training at a high level? That’s what we’re digging into today!
Right after the race - and I mean right after - is the best time to start the recovery process. I like getting in fluids like Nuun and water to help rehydrate. Even me as a person who doesn’t really sweat a ton, you do lose a significant amount of water due to the hard effort, so get some fluids back in as soon as possible.
The next thing you should be doing is a cool down. Depending on your mileage goals for the day, your long run can and should be anywhere from a 10-minute shuffle to 3-5 miles. Again, if you’re in marathon mode and you just ran a 10 miler or half marathon, and you’re trying to run a significant distance on your long run, you might have to do a hefty cooldown. Sometimes, that’s just the way it is.
Post-cool down, I like to treat myself to some good food. Usually, it’s some kind of bar or fruit until I can get to something more fulfilling, but then I like to get all the breakfast foods I can handle!
When I’m back home, I focus on what I love most: napping and a massage. I’ll use a foam roller or my massage gun to help alleviate soreness and there is nothing better in the world than a post-race nap.
I know that a post-race beverage is probably one of the things you’ll want to do to celebrate, and I can’t say you shouldn’t, but if you can, limit the number of beverages you consume. Alcohol plays a significant role in decreasing your ability to recover.
Friday’s Action Plan:
By planning ahead - and taking care of yourself, you can reduce the amount of time you need to recover from a longer race.
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Marc is a middle school teacher and coach but also works with distance runners online. I help distance runners around the globe by providing support, writing customized training plans, and designing workouts to help them reach their racing goals. I write for my blog every Wednesday morning and newsletter every Friday morning.