I’m always interested in how runners recover from races and long runs. I find it interesting all the things we do to recover from a stretching routine to food and every thing in between. Even though I can be pretty ritualistic when it comes to my pre-race meals (Remember me? I’m the girl who ate the same Friday night meal for 15 weeks!), I don’t really have a set recovery routine. Maybe I should?
Immediately following a race
I stop running and smile. That part is a must! If I’m not smiling, I did something wrong. I think it’s important to have a moment to yourself too before meeting your group to just be proud of yourself. No matter what the distance, it was an accomplishment!
I usually head to the food and drink table next. Most races will hand you a bottle of water, but honestly after running for 13 miles, that is the LAST thing I want. I just drank water and Gatorade for 13 miles, if I stopped at the water stations. I want a Coke or a brew. I want to feel that burn and get that goopy taste out of my mouth that’s left from shot blocks. I crave it about halfway through a race. My friend, Cindy, brought me a Coke at the end of my marathon. Best thing ever! Seems like most longer distance races have one or the other…
I do a few light stretches just to loosen up my hips and legs a bit if they feel stiff. I don’t try to sit down but walk instead. I find if I can walk a bit I feel better.
I’m usually not hungry right after finishing. It takes a while before I want food.
Within an hour or two
A shower! I can only stand to “ride dirty” for so long. If we’ve hung out at a post race party, then I can only stand myself for just a bit. I got to get the stink off. Not only that, but it also feels good to just sit in the hot water. When we travel to OBX, we always make sure we have a house with a hot tub.
FOOD! By now, I am hungry and I want food. I usually try to be a good but I do treat myself. This past weekend, I went for a burger and a brew. It hit the spot!
Stretching is a must now! I will spend sometime slowly stretching and/or rolling on my foam roller. I spend time with the parts that seem to be talking to me…
Start the process of drinking water to rehydrate
The rest of the day
Rest and relaxation are how I spend my afternoons. I’m not a person who naps too often, but if I feel like it, I may take one. I like to stay a bit busy so that I don’t stiffen up. Sometimes, I’m just a couch potato.
Continue drinking water
The next day
Since I’m a runstreaker, I head out for a slow one miler. I find that my recovery time is a lot quicker now that I run every day. After this weekend’s half, I was able to run 6 miles easily. It depends how hard I run.
What is your race recovery routine?
Head over here to find other running related posts for Tuesdays on the Run.
Follow Runner Girl in a Rocking World