How I Recover From Races

*When I’m smart.*

Back in the good ol’ days when I was running regularly, I was a recovery champ. You had better believed I foam rolled in the dark after my early morning runs (so as to not wake up my roommate),  stretched often throughout the day, never neglected my warmup/cooldown and always wore my compression socks after long runs.

Yeah. I was a champ. And then I stopped running, and apparently forgot how to do all of the above. Which has resulted in me hobbling all over campus with agonizing shin splits, and becoming an incredibly entertaining sight as I make my way up five flights of stairs to my room.

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Okay, okay – I’m not suffering that much. But I am in enough pain to want to make sure this doesn’t happen again! Hence the recollection of my past life.

1. FOAM. ROLL. Usually when I post some form of advice, I leave out the things that everyone says all the time. Not this one. I whole-heartedly believe that foam rolling was the only thing that got me through my half marathon. It prevents tight muscles before they happen, loosens them up if they do, and a whole heap of other speed-making, happiness-increasing benefits. So DO IT. 

2. Don’t ignore nutrition. I know, it doesn’t seem like it should directly affect your muscles – we all know that good nutrition improves overall performance, but immediate recovery? Well I’m no physiologist, but if I don’t refuel properly after running, I feel 10x worse the next day. My 10K on Sunday was no marathon, but the combination of waiting around for over an hour after finishing running hard before eating / drinking and my body not having a ton beforehand (PB + banana as a pre-race snack) meant that my body had nowhere near enough fuel to recover. Which means that recovery didn’t happen – funny how that works, hey?

wafflesMy recovery meal of choice. Gotta get those carbs in! 

3. Maintain consistent activity levels. Quick tip: don’t not run for three weeks and then run faster than you ever have. No matter what you feel like, when coming back from any type of exercise break means that your body is not accustomed to the stress! And it will complain about it!

running

Have you ever totally failed poorly recovered? What did you do about it? 

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3 thoughts on “How I Recover From Races

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