Well done to all our running mums racing over the weekend! We had the Twilight running festival in Brisbane on Saturday night, and yesterday the Sydney running festival, Adelaide city 2 Bay, Numinbah to Pollys Trail race in QLD, and I’m sure countless more runs across the country!
It was amazing to watch all the posts flowing in on the Facebook page. One thing shined through…that no matter how the race went, the sense of pride and accomplishment and joy was across the faces of all of our amazing women when they crossed that finish line.
Whether your journey in training had been months and months long, or whether it was only a few weeks, or even a last minute decision to lace up and run, the recovery is still the same. And just as important as the run itself. A lot of what I will talk about refers to longer events, but the premise is the same for the shorter events or if this is your first race!
After you crossed that line, hopefully you took some time to cool down and rest, this involves keeping moving gently for a while and doing some light stretching to allow those muscles that could possibly have been worked to an inch of their lives yesterday to return to their original length. You will need to keep doing this throughout the day, especially if you had run the marathon.
Making sure that you fuel the body back up with adequate protein which aides in restoration of the muscles and some carbohydrate for some energy. Preferably you want to eat within an hour or so after your race to speed up the recovery process. A smoothie, a sandwich with protein or my favourite it post run treat…a bacon and egg roll!
Back this up with hydration. This is extremely important after a race, especially if it was hot out on the course. Use a drink that has electrolytes in it to restore your bodies chemical balance and maintain your hydration.
Take a deep cold ice bath. This may seem like a crazy idea, especially if your legs are in agony from the marathon but trust me, cold helps your muscles recover quicker initially and reduce swelling and inflammation which is bound to have occurred. Even if you can only stand it for a few minutes, it’s better than nothing. Over the next few days you can enjoy the warm baths, but perhaps wait to do that on day 2.
Rest. You have done all the hard work so rest up. Get enough sleep to make sure that you are recovering well.
Keep moving. So important, and right away…I always make sure that after any half or full marathon, after I may have perhaps had a little rest, I keep moving. Go for a light walk, or if you can, a jog and get all of the lactic acid build up out of those legs! Trust me…you will be so much better if you keep moving and you won’t seize up as much. Perhaps even a swim in the pool, which will help aide inflammation if it’s cold and help you keep moving without causing injury.
Take it easy getting back into training. It’s okay to have a few days off. You deserve it. Only start back when you are ready and perhaps slowly to avoid injury. It can take weeks to recover from a half or full marathon.
Plan your next event! You know you want to!! Where will your legs take you next?