Following on from my article last week about the Great North Run and how to get across the finish line easily, I had a reader and regular patient of mine, Jane, ask me this question…
“Hey Paul, this is my first time running
such a long distance, once I get to the finish line,
how do I recover from the run? I am not looking
forward to the day after!!”
This is a question that runs through a lot of people’s minds (not just first time runners!), and while there may be runners who will vow to never run again, many will catch the running bug — and can’t wait to train for their next big event.
Whatever the case may be for you, before you run again, (or jump right back into any form of exercise), my tip is to allow your body to recover from running (with a touch of walking!) straight after you exercise.
Now, it may be tempting to “veg out” for a while after completing a big run, but if you can’t wait to run again (or at least walk normally instead of hobbling around)…
Here’s 5 tips I give to my patients to help their bodies recover quickly, and get back to exercise right away:
1.) Walk It Out
Right after a run, you should continue to move to help reduce any stiffness – walking for just a mile should be sufficient.
Even if that means walking back to your car, or your house, walking will keep your blood flowing to repair your muscles as quickly as possible.
All the pros do it, so why shouldn’t you?
It may sound a bit off putting, but immersing your legs in an ice bath will significantly reduce muscle soreness, so you won’t be left feeling like you can’t move for days and days after!
If any areas are more painful than others, apply ice packs to the sore areas the day after to speed up recovery.
3.) Plenty of Water
It’s key to keep hydrated after any form of exercise to replenish your muscles. It’s also important to refuel with a snack too, to keep your energy levels up, and to reduce soreness the next day.
4.) Roll It Out
For DIY relief, try foam rolling to help alleviate built up muscle tension and pain. If you don’t have a foam roller, (or you’re not sure what one is!), a golf, or tennis ball should also do the trick.
5.) And, Stretch
Stretching straight after a run will help reduce your risk of injury and will keep your body moving. Make sure you focus on stretching your whole body – other wise you’ll definitely be feeling muscles you never knew you had the next day!
To discover more essential tips like this, take a look at my book, “The Healthy Habit” here: http://www.thehealthyhabitbook.com and learn secrets to keeping active.