Welcome back to Tuesday on the Run with Patty from My No-Guilt Life, Erika from MCM Mama Runs and me! Sorry this post is a little late this morning, I was taking some of my own advice on race recovery (today’s topic)!
If you follow runDisney at all, you probably already know that the Wine & Dine Half 2014 was chilly and very very wet. Combine that with wind, slick roads, darkness and thousands of other runners and you don’t get great running conditions. And I was woefully undertrained. Illnesses, injuries, work and travel all resulted in me only getting up to 10 miles before the race and that was about a full month ago. All that means that while I finished and had a lot of fun during parts of the race, I was extremely sore and tired afterwards. Race recovery tips to the rescue!
Here’s what I did to make sure that I’ll be able to run again just a few days later:
1. Eat something and rehydrate as soon as possible. Luckily at the Wine & Dine Half this was easy! For whatever reason, I crave red meat after a half marathon. Last year, I got the filet from the booth in Canada (yum!) and this year I got the pesto beef skewer from Patagonia (yum also!) I also made sure to drink some sports drink and water right after I finished. The standard advice is to eat something with both carbs and protein within 30 minutes of finishing. Dark chocolate almond milk usually hits the spot for me, but I forgot to pack any in my after-race bag!
2. Keep moving. Another great benefit of runDisney races is that this advice is easy to take when you have after-parties for night races and the parks to enjoy for morning races. While I often feel like curling up on the bed and sleeping for hours, the best thing for recovery after a long or tough race is to keep moving. A slow pace is great, staying active for a few hours after the race keeps you from stiffening up.
3. Massage. If you can get a massage right after the race or even within 24 hours, it can help your sore and tight muscles and tendons recover a little more quickly. Plus, any excuse to get a massage is good to me!
4. Ice Bath. If you have the opportunity and feel up to it, an ice bath can help reduce inflammation. 15-20 minutes is plenty. However, after this race, I got really chilled walking around in wet clothes, so there was no way I was going to take an ice bath. Plus, my room at the Swan had a shower and no tub so it wasn’t really an option.
5. Rest. Take it easy the next few days. Keep moving, but if you’re feeling sore or tired you might not want to do any strenuous running or cross training for a few days. I’m going to try to go for a short and slow run today to loosen up those muscles but if it hurts, I’ll turn it into a walk instead.
I didn’t do #3 or #4 after the Rain & Dine this weekend, but I did the others and while I could barely walk (literally) after the race, I’m already feeling up to a short run today which I think is wonderful!
What are your best tips for recovering from a race or long run? Make sure to check out the TotR linkup!