Any kind of run can take a toll on the body and knowing the best running tips to help recover can help reduce injury and improve performance. Here are our top tips for recovering from a run.
If you’re new to running and are starting to experience some of the common aches and pains associated with it, you may want to take a look at your running recovery. Any kind of run can take a toll on the body, whether it’s a sprint or a marathon, so knowing the best running tips to help recover can be vital for reducing injury and improving performance. Here are our top tips for recovering from a run.
Start recovering before you begin
That’s right, running recovery actually starts before you even head out! It might sound a bit backwards, but a large part of your race recovery will come from what you do before starting your run. First off you want to make sure you’re properly hydrated – running out of steam (well, water) during a race and getting dehydrated can drastically reduce your performance and can make you feel downright awful. For longer runs you can also use running recovery drinks which contain minerals and electrolytes to replace those lost through sweat during your run.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re not running on full stomach either, as this can likewise impact your performance and make you feel sluggish. Normally you’ll want to eat up to a few hours before as this gives your body time to digest and extract fuel from the food. Making sure you eat the right food before running is important too, here are some suggestions of what to eat before a 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon.
Stretch and warm-up
Stretching before your run only takes a few minutes, but could prevent weeks of time out due to injuries! When you start your run, you’ll want to make sure you stretch out all your muscles and get your body warmed up and ready to go. Start off with some simple leg stretches, and then try and incorporate some core, arm and upper body stretches. One you’ve given your whole body a stretch, set off at slow pace to ease into your run.
After a few minutes at a comfortable, slower pace, you can start to build up speed and momentum as your body will be ready to go. If you try to set off too fast your body won’t be prepared, and you will find that you may struggle to run to the best of your ability and your recovery will suffer for it. You may also want to invest in some compressive clothes – these are tight to the skin which will encourage blood flow around the parts of the body they are worn. Your body needs this fresh blood to aid in the recovery process so it’s worth investing in some compression wear at least for your legs if not the rest of your body too.
Begin to recover
As your run is coming to an end you should slow down to a cool-down pace which allow your body to gently finish rather than suddenly jolting it from run to stop. When stopped, take a few minutes just to stretch out once more and release any tight joints. Once you’ve finish and cooled your body down from your run, you’ll then want to get nice and warm! Like compressive clothes a hot bath, steam room or even just a hot shower will encourage more blood flow to the surface to help get all of your joints and muscles repaired.
In order to repair and build up those muscles, your body also needs fuel - in the form of protein and carbohydrates. Ideally you’ll want to eat some running recovery food within 30mins of finishing your run and have a meal that is packed full of protein. A protein shake is ideal as will have plenty of the necessary nutrients and in liquid form can be absorbed quicker.
You’ll want to fill up on water again too as you will have lost quite a bit during your run. Being dehydrated is not a good place to be, so again try to get water as soon as you can after the race. As we mentioned before, running recovery drinks containing glucose and electrolytes can help to replace the stores in your muscles and promote repair.
Last of all, take a rest! Your body needs downtime in order to recover so don’t jump straight into another run too quickly!
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