How To Recover
Post-run recovery is just as important as the run itself. Having a good recovery plan can be the difference between enjoying a run the next day or feeling like a brick on the couch for the next 3 days. You can assist your body’s recovery process by following a plan that works for you post-run. Here’s a look into what works for me:
A cool down is an easy exercise done after your run – mine involves a slow jog then transition to a walk for about 10mins. This should be done after/in addition to your run. For example, if you have a 30min run/walk planned, then you should include a ~5 min warm-up (more on this later), your 30 min run, and a 10 min cool-down for a total time of 45mins. Cool-downs allow your body to steadily return to its normal status by lowering your heart rate, redistributing blood flood, and lowering your body temperature, all of which help reduce muscle soreness.
Nutrition is an important aspect of running as it provides your body with the fuel it needs to run. Within 20 mins of completing my run and cool down, I refuel with a mix of water, carbs, and protein. I usually get this through my favorite protein mix from Moon Juice (linked) but there are many other options available. Protein drinks are probably my least favorite thing so I’m just glad I finally found one I enjoy.
Foam Rolling & Stretching
After I refuel and shower, I start stretching and foam rolling. I would love to incorporate more foam rolling into my routine because I feel the most immediate and long-lasting benefits from it. My foam roller is from Trigger Point (linked) and I recently purchased a Theragun – so stay tuned for my review of it. I do a lot of different stretches depending on what my body needs, but I always incorporate a few sun salutations into every stretch routine.
As tempting as it is to head straight for the couch, having an active recovery that incorporates what is mentioned above and other aspects that are right for you, will ensure that you have a healthy and long-lasting running journey. Start building the habit now and before you know it, you won't be able to imagine your runs without it!