What I Do When I Can’t Walk (Run Recovery)

So, yesterday my Type A / hardcore chick came out with my post on half marathon training! I definitely turn into a beast when I have a goal, but I’m not always that way. Case in point: It is currently 9:41pm, my mind is whirring, and I’m basically a lunatic with a laptop and a foam roller.

I do have big running goals, but I also don’t take running all that seriously. This shows when I do things like:

  • Long run on Saturday: during which the last 2 miles of my 10 miler felt like marathon and I almost stopped to walk 30.3 times –> it was not an easy jaunt.
  • Squat PR on Sunday: I woke up with no soreness, so I decided to hit the gym! (weekends are the only day the squat rack is ever free).

WELL, it turns out that when you do things like that, your legs start to hurt. A LOT. In an effort to not hobble around like an eighty-seven year old man, I’ve been taking some measures to help loosen up the poor fellows.

1. Slow recovery run. Since I only run 4x per week, I usually go fast-ish (for me) every time. NOT yesterday. I’m not even going to tell you what my pace was because it doesn’t matter – I just focused on getting that lactic acid outta there, and pretended that the ground was massaging my legs.

2. Foam roll all day. I know everyone says to foam roll, but I don’t mean one 10-15 minute session and then you’re done for the day. Every time I made it back to my room, I hopped on that thing and worked out a few more kinks. I probably did it 5-6 times and it is a godsend.

3. Torture Device Extraordinaire. AKA this magic ball. It has been a godsend with shin splits, but also areas like the balls of my feet and hipbones that a foam roller can’t quite get to.


4. REST! I’m doing what I should have done on Sunday –> allowing my muscles to recoup and rejuvenate. My schedule is absolutely packed today anyway so it’s not like I will be missing out.

5. Keep moving. The worst thing you can do is to sit on your butt all day. Similar to recovery runs, keeping moving / walking will encourage muscles to stay loose, springy and extended.

6. Chowing down on the good stuff. There are no magic pills that will immediately cure you of DOMS. But, making sure you are still consuming a diet of a variety of nutrients will only speed up the recovery process. Lots of dark fruits, leafy greens, and healthy fats are ideal. <– and all the water! Never forget the water.

oatsBlueberries + nut butter = power food. Now if only I could find a way to incorporate spinach into oats. 

7. ICY HOT. If all else fails, this stuff is an absolute miracle worker. I used it for years while ski racing 20-30 hours per week, and I honestly do not know what I would have done without it. It is the only way my legs did not collapse underneath me after an 8 hour training day + 2 hour dryland training session (think squats, sprints, wall-sits, etc.). I’ve never been affiliated with them – I’ve just used their product for over 10 years!

I sincerely hope you aren’t in the position to need some / all of these measures, but I’ve got you covered if you are! Have a super excellent Tuesday, and I will talk to you guys tomorrow!

What do you do the day after a hard run/workout? 


2 thoughts on “What I Do When I Can’t Walk (Run Recovery)

  1. I’ve definitely been in that position of ouch before! One of the reasons I am so excited for spring is because whenever it is cold outside, my knees get really achey after running. I’ve been trying to hit the foam roller lately, and it definitely feels wonderful after I’m done 🙂

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