Picture yourself running across the imaginary finish line of Pat’s Run. Maybe you congratulate yourself or a loved one with whom you are running. You are excited and happy that you achieved your personal goal. At this point, you may feel like all the work is done…but wait there are few things to take care of in order to optimize your recovery after the race.
Replace fluids, electrolytes, energy, and carbohydrates that were lost during your race to ensure rapid recovery! Ingest around 20-24 oz of water or a sports drink for every pound of weight lost. Electrolyte drinks help to prevent exercise-associated muscle cramping. Eat a high carbohydrate snack within 30 minutes after the race and again two hours later. Add a protein to your after-workout snack, this provides building blocks for the muscles to repair themselves.
There are common overuse injuries that often accompany an increase in training and may occur after races. Stretching can help with recovery and prevent these injuries. Stretches should be gentle, short and with minimal discomfort (check out our blog post “Stretching the Why and How” for more details.)
Sleep is considered a keystone habit for everyone, essential for your recovery. Sleep hygiene is the fancy term for strategies you can utilize to help get a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis. These include:
Please note, not all recommendations apply to all athletes. If you have any medical conditions, please contact your physician for specific recommendations to help in your recovery after the race.