WHAT NOW.. post race routine, have you got one?

Have you planned your run already? Got your clothes laid out, music, pre workout drink or vitamins, a snack? Don’t forget a quick stretch too. I am sure you are good to go and make this run worth it. Some of us are more strict about what to do before a run or race, some of us are more flexible – it doesn’t really matter. 

How about post run? Do you have a ritual for the aftermath? Or do you just drop off your shoes and clothes, fall on the sofa all happy you’ve finished?

I used to do that. I was just happy I did it and that was it. “Oh boy, what a mistake” I paid for it next day. When I woke up in the morning I would struggle to get up from bed. If I did, it took much longer and the waking up could be very uncomfortable. My feet hurt, my knees every inch of my legs would ache. It was all my fault, unfortunately. Well, I have to say, lesson learn!

So lets have a look at a post run routine…

The post run recovery should actually start during your run as much as after the run. If your run is considered as a flat route, recover with some hilly jog. If the plan is to do some hilly training, recover with some flat running – it will help with over fatigue in one way or the other.

DehydrationSomething you heard before for sure. Why do we need so much water?  The muscle needs to free flow in water. If you don’t stay hydrated all, your muscles aren’t hydrated either and will start to struggle with movement. 

Ice Bath. Most of you are thinking no thanks! But you and your precious body could really benefit, especially after a long run. Throw ice cubs in the bath and sit in them. Start with 1 min at least and see how it goes. Try build it up to 5-10minutes.

Cold shower. Yes equally as appealing as an Ice Bath but nowhere near as intense. If you are not quite up for an ice bath and it might not be necessary after the shorter runs and not after every run but starting your shower cold for a couple of minutes before warming up can work wonders for muscle recovery, aiding and encouraging circulation.

Magnesium. A common vitamins worth keeping an eye on. Magnesium helps to relax your muscles. You can increase your magnesium simply by planning your post run meal a little better and if necessary you can even take a tablet to top your magnesium levels up. You can also find magnesium in beans and nuts, brown rice and whole wheat bread, green leafy vegetables.

Stretch. Let’s face it, we all know we need to but hands up who is guilty of heading straight for the shower or the sofa and leaving your legs to do their own thing. Unfortunately resting like that can be doing more harm than good. Try to do at least 5- 10 minutes of light stretching straight after workout while your muscles are still nice and warm.

These are few examples and suggestion for things you can add into your routine to help you stay free from aches and pains – or at least minimise them! You are unfortunately unlikely to banish the muscle tiredness but these things will definitely help. You will be ready to go run again much faster and will be able to enjoy the run every time you go. That’s what we all want, right?

“Look after your body, it is the only place you have to live.”