It’s another edition of Just Run, where each month a group of my running blogger friends gather with their tips, tricks and thoughts on all things running.
In case you missed the previous editions:
This month we are tackling post run recovery.
Recovery from a hard run is just as important as the actual workout. To gain strength, speed, etc, muscles grow and become stronger when they are subjected to forces that cause tiny tears in the muscle fibers. It’s during recovery that the body repairs these fibers and builds new blood vessels to the stressed area.
None of this happens unless you have proper rest and recovery.
Here’s some of the best post run recovery tips I’ve picked up over the years.
Fuel up – Post runs over 1 hour, you have about a 30 minute window to refuel to avoid insufficient glycogen stores for your next workout. I try to get the recommended 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein via quick food such as a smoothie. With the recent heat and humidity in overload, I’ve been slurping down a Mango Turmeric Recovery Smoothie daily. Turmeric is a great for recovery. It contains curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. The curcumin helps to decrease inflammation.
Warm Water Epsom Salt Soaks – Years ago I attempted ice baths. I really don’t think they helped a ton except to make me miserable and cold. I was happy to learn that new research shows that Epsom Salt soaks may be a better option. I especially love to soak my problem areas (feet, ankles, calves) in a big bucket of warm water with salts. I don’t know if it really does much but it feels good so I’m going with it.
Foam roll – My foam roller has become a part of my daily routine. I’ll roll for 10-15 minutes targeting my quads, hamstring upper back and especially my ever tight calves. I also beg Ron to do a calf smash every night on the roller for me. I feel that it hits the calves a little more than regular rolling because of the added pressure.
Stretching and/or Yoga – Stretching regularly will help with recovery. I’m not the best at doing a ton of stretching but if I at least get 5 minutes doing these Post Run Yoga Poses, it’s better than nothing.
Compress – Compression socks or if I need a lot of squeeze, compression tights, are my BFF. I don’t like to wear them during a run but love to feel the squeeze post workout. After a really hard run, I’ll sleep in compression gear too.
Sleep/Nap – I try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night or more before a long run or hard workout. On the weekends if I ran long, I’ll try to squeeze in a power nap of 30 minutes. I feel recharged even if I just close my eyes and rest.
Looking for more recovery tips? See what my running blogger friends have to say. Be sure to click on the image or their name to get the details.
What’s your go-to post run recovery?