Most runners assume that the hard part is over once you cross the finish line, but your body may disagree with you! DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) starts to kick in within 24-48 hours and you’ll be feeling the race long after it’s over. But if you know how to recover properly, you can take a lot of the stress off of your body. Of course, I love my Run Disney races, but I don’t get to rest afterwards. I’m walking around the parks afterwards and vacationing with my family. I have to keep up with them! I make sure to follow my routine steps to recover, even if I’m on vacation. I’ve got 5 tips for recovering after running big race. These are the tried and true things I do religiously after a race so I can
walk run again!
5 Tips For Recovering After Running a Race
1- Stay Active
I know everyone’s initial reaction is to sit on the nearest couch, but that only let’s lactic acid (what makes you feel sore) settle into your muscles. Stay active with light walking and try to avoid sitting for long periods of time.
2- Wear Compression
Compression wear, like leg sleeves, helps to compress and keep blood flowing better. I wear my compression all day long after a race (yes- at the Disney parks too). Jeff Galloway, the former Olympian and Run Disney coach, recommends compression wear after a race. Some runners even wear compression socks during the race too!
I love the PRO Compression brand, like the ones below (comes in many colors). They are a graduated compression and help to control moisture from sweating.
3- Stay Hydrated
You lose a lot of water while running. It’s important to keep hydrating long after the race. I use a sports drink to replace electrolytes that I lose while running. It helps ease any muscle cramping.
4- Soak in Epsom Salts
I love to soak in a hot bath filled with Epsom Salts. Magnesium Sulfate is the active ingredient in Epsom Salts. The mineral helps to relax the skeletal muscles in order to flush out the lactic acid quicker. My favorite brand is Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Solution because it’s specifically designed for muscle recovery with rosemary and mint essential oils.
5-Use a Foam Roller
When you run regularly and you’re sore regularly, it isn’t always possible to pay for a professional massage. A foam roller is a self-myofascial release technique (AKA- self massage) that you use to aid in recovery. You can purchase a longer foam roller for full body recovery or a shorter one that’s great for travel. I recommend a dense foam roller, like this one from TriggerPoint, because it will last you for years without wearing out.
Don’t know how to use a foam roller? This is an awesome instructional DVD that I own as well. It breaks down each exercise according to which part of your body is sore.
Now you’ll be set for your next big race! Follow these simple steps to recovery and you’ll feel better in no time.
- Tell me! What is your next big race?