You’ve planned your training, stayed on track and raced to the finish! Now, planning your recovery is just as important as your training, especially if you want to race again soon. And you know you’re gonna wanna. Here’s a breakdown on what you can do to ensure you’ll be new and improved in no time.
BY: Patricia Murphy, Around the Bay Medical Director
ENJOY A LITTLE COOL DOWN
After getting yourself into something warm and dry—including sneakers not flip flops, something compressed, to keep your feet from swelling—walk and stretch for at least 15 minutes and when stretching, elevate your legs!
REPLACE THE FUEL YOU’VE BURNED
Carbs and electrolytes are good; I like Gatorade and bananas for the potassium, but you also need protein—like a carton of chocolate milk. My brother’s a 30-time marathoner and he has rice with tuna, the choice is yours but preferably stay away from alcohol.
ICE, ICE BABY
Avoid the hot bath or hot tub and if you have a handheld shower, make it as cold as you can stand and stream it on your legs. A bag of ice in the bath also is good—hot water encourages the blood to go back into sore muscles and cold water reduces swelling.
TIME HEALS MOST WOUNDS
24 – 36 hours is the peak impact of your workout so don’t be surprised if you’re in more pain Monday morning than Sunday night; Ibuprofen for the muscles and keep taking fluids. You’ll also want to avoid hills for as many as ten days.
AVOID THE POST-RACE COME DOWN
Sign up for something new! If you did the 30K, you’re two long runs away from the marathon. If you did 5K, spring is in bloom and there are 10Ks galore. Don’t think of ATB as a finish line. Think of it as a pause before you’re next starting gun.