How to recover after your run

Take onboard my top five post-run, quick and easy recovery tips…

Active and adequate recovery after running is crucial, and in my opinion, equally if not more important than your run and training.

Naturally, after a tough session where you have pushed yourself physically and mentally, your body wants to rest with the onset of tiredness.

Sitting down and slumping on your sofa sounds like a pretty good option on paper but what your body is really craving is a post-workout recovery.

Here are five of my quick and easy recovery tips to make sure you keep your body in the best condition:

Warming Down

The tendency when you finish a run is to come to a grinding and instant halt, but try to avoid this.

Keep moving immediately after you stop moving by walking around and limbering up.

Gradually come to a stop with a light jog at the end of your run (especially if you have been completing speed work).

It may sound obvious but many people forget to do it and it can really help you to avoid any unnecessary muscle tweaks or injuries. How frustrating would it be to injure yourself after an excellent 30km pre-marathon training run?

Dynamic Stretching

This follows on nicely and is the obvious next stage of recovery. Working your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and flexing your hips, as well as stretching your arms, go deeper and hold the stretches for longer.

In turn, try to build in side-to-side and back to front movements between each and every stretch.

Split squats, leg swings, hip raises, step-ups, knee twists and mountain-climbing routines can all be used here but find out what works for you.

Foam rolling

It may not look pretty but rolling is a mightily effective way to aid recovery after running.

Apply your body weighted pressure onto the roller, push down and roll the key muscle groups – particularly your quads and IT bands. Hold for a longer duration in certain spots which are especially tight and you will soon notice improved elastically with regular rolling.

Along with the roller, it’s also worth using a hard ball to get stuck into areas like the hip joint which are hard to reach, however, I’d only recommend using heavy pressure with the ball twice a week.

The great thing about rolling is that you can do it anywhere! It’s worth investing in a yoga mat and setting up a space at home in which to complete the recovery work.

Post-run food recovery options

The good thing is there’s plenty of options out there to help you reload depleted muscles.

Firstly, rehydration is important and a quick protein snack or shake can also work wonders as far as repairing muscle growth goes.

In turn, fresh fruit is full of carbohydrates and can help break down nutrients in your body and deliver them to tired muscle groups.

Fresh fruit boasts plenty of carbohydrates that are easily digestible, helping to break down nutrients that can be delivered to tired muscle groups. Alternatively, wholegrain bread can boost your carb levels.

yellow banana fruit
Stocking up on fruit is always a good idea post-run.

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