Welcome to the finish line. You trained for this, you entered, and you endured. Whether or not it was a victory according to the winner’s podium, or a personal victory and achievement, you need to recover.
At the end of the day, you need to take care of your body. The same body that you dragged out of bed to train in a relentless and never-ceasing endeavor. The same body that went through the arduous physical challenge of the race. The same body that you honed to peak performance. That body is in shock right now, and you’ll need to apply the methods to be take care of yourself.
So take a deep breath. You did a lot to make it to this point. Now you’re at the summit and easing your way down the mountain. Here’s 4 tips for recovering after a grueling race.
Hydration and Replenishment
This is perhaps the most important and vital part. You have to treat the 30-to-60 minutes after a race like a detective handles the first 48 hours after a murder. You need to do what you can to replenish your glycogen storage. You need to make sure to have a healthy mix of electrolytes, sugar and calories.
It’s recommended to consume a small piece of meat once every two to three hours. From these meals you should aim to get 25 percent of your calories from protein, 20 percent from fat, and the other 55 from complex carbohydrates.
The most important thing is to keep walking. Avoid stopping or sitting for at least 30 minutes after a race. Your body is in shock and needs to ease back into normality. Movement keeps oxygen-rich blood flowing through the body, preventing the body from cramping and working against itself to readjust. You may want to incorporate stretching as well. The issue is that stopping too soon could cause fainting and other pains that can damage your muscle tissue.
Believe it or not, there are therapeutic benefits to taking that victory lap.
You don’t just deserve rest, you need it. Give yourself a few days with some more short walks and stretches. Consider some massage therapy or having an ice bath. Your legs took a pounding and your body needs as much circulation as it can get. An ice bath can help reduce inflammation, so can reclining with your legs elevated as much possible.
You’ll be thankful for compression gear once you see the difference it makes in the distance. Having the right gear is important for preventing muscle soreness and increasing the blood flow in the body—especially the calves. There are other benefits to compression gear, some kinds offer protection from sun damage as you may have been exposed to prolonged light throughout the duration of a race.Congrats on making it through the finish line. By following these tips you can minimize muscle soreness, rebuild fuel supply, and continue going through your normal routine. For more information on finding the right stuff for running, check out Tri Sirena’s amazing line of performance gear by clicking here.