Having recently completed the runDisney Goofy Race and a Half Challenge I figured it would be a good time to share my long run/ race recovery.
With running half and full marathons on back to back days my biggest concern was a quick recovery after the half to be ready for the full. I went to Florida with a plan (that I had practiced during my back to back long run training), I stuck to it and it worked perfectly – I was ready to go for the full marathon without feeling like I had even run the day before!
Before I get started (and before he says something to me about not mentioning him!), I have to 100% credit my husband for all of my running recovery. I have to admit if it were up to me I’d probably go for a long run, take a warm shower and then plop down on the couch. He’s usually the one
nagging encouraging me to take the time to do some recovery…and honestly, once I do it I never regret it! (And he knows what he’s talking about, working in the professional sports world he’s picked up a thing or two…husband and personal trainer in one – what more could a running girl ask for!)
Disclaimer: I am not a health/ fitness professional (yet!) and am only sharing what works for ME. Below I have provided links to additional information that supports why each of these things may or may not promote muscle recovery.
Here’s what I did between the WDW Half and Full Marathon’s:
I don’t know all the science behind these recovery drinks other than ingesting something with the optimal amounts carbohydrate and protein aids in muscle recovery – the one I use, Endurox R4, has a 4:1 carb:protein ration.
I’ll typically make and drink one of these after any run over 10 miles. There are many brands out there so do some research and find what works for you! (I’m interested in trying the Vega Sport brand…has anyone tried it??)
Jury’s still out amongst a lot of people as to whether ice baths really work, but I believe they work for me and that’s really all that matters!
For more information on ice baths and if they do or don’t work you can check out the articles below before you take the plunge (pun totally intended!):
I LOVE my compression pants for after run recovery! The minute I pull them on it just feels like my muscles are being squeezed and supported. Unfortunately I don’t love the way they feel when I’m actually running (something about the way they rub behind my knee), but I do wear compression socks on my long runs. The graphic below is from the CW-X website, which is the brand of compression socks and pants that I use.
Foam rolling is a sort of self-massage. Using your own body weight on the foam roller you can target specific muscle areas and use the pressure to help to release any knots and roll out sore muscles.
You can learn everything you need to know about how to foam roll and target certain muscles on a great infographic from Greatist HERE.
Jason just got me this new Grid foam roller and I’m loving it! (It’s the perfect size to travel with too!)
Yoga / Stretch
We all know I love yoga! One of my favorite things to do after a long run (or anytime your legs are feeling tired!) is to lie on your back on the ground with your legs at a 90 degrees up against a wall…it feels SO good! I always make sure to stretch after a long run, targeting my piriformis, calves, hamstrings and quads.
For some of my favorite poses check out my Yoga for Runner’s posts!
Is there anything else you do for post run/ race muscle recovery?
I’d love to hear!