Runners plan their runs, the clothes, the route, the training aim, however it is also good to have some kind of plan for your recovery. If you do a few of these things after a run, you will get in to a routine of doing them and they should help you to recover better.
- Finish your run with 5 minutes of light jogging to bring your body back to its normal resting state.
- Hydrate immediately after you finish. Either with water, milk or chocolate milk. Chocolate milk has the right mix of protein and sugar. Also hydrate for the next 2 hours.
- Have an ice bath if that what benefits you.
- Now it is getting colder have a shower as soon as you finish. Your body temperature will start to drop as your sweat cools. If you can not shower immediately as maybe you are racing then baby wipe your skin and change your clothes. Ladies, change your sports bra too.
- You can perform any stretches, rehabilitation exercises or mobility work after your shower. If you prefer doing stretches as soon as you finish your run, then perform them inside as you will be warmer. Stretching warm muscles will prevent injury.
- Eat a small snack within 20 minutes of finishing. Snacks such as a banana, dried fruits and nuts, yoghurt, bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter.
- Eat a well balanced meal within 3 hours of finishing your run.
- Complete your run log whilst it is still fresh in your mind, you are more likely to be honest as well. Sitting down to do your log will force you to rest.
- Please DO NOT think about your next run, live in the moment and congratulate yourself on the run you have just completed.
- Take a few minutes out to either sit or lie down and practice your abdominal breathing. Most runners breathe shallow and in to their upper lungs instead of breathing deep in to the belly. Use this time to check to see if you have any niggles that are persistent niggles.
The most important recovery tool is sleep, not just the night before and after your runs but 7 nights a week.
If you do have any persistent niggles seek professional advice, such as seeing myself.