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Top 5 Running Recovery Tips

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Posted by Cags R under Running on 12 September 2013 at 11:00 PM

How do you recover from the hours you spend pounding the pavement or tearing up the trails? You should never underestimate the importance of recovery to keep your performance high and your body injury-free, ensuring you have plenty of miles left in the tank.

We went out to some of our favourite running bloggers to ask for their tips for a speedy and full recovery.

1. Post-run hydration 

Jeff of Barefoot Inclined (@barefootinclined) - “Regardless of the distance, I always make sure to hydrate well afterwards. The few times I haven't done this, I really do feel it later”

Kristen V profileKristen, The Concrete Runner (@concrete_runner) - adds - “My biggest thing for recovery is to make sure I rehydrate!  I always drink a 24 ounce bottle of water immediately after I finish a run.  If it was a long run (8 or more miles) or a very hot and humid run, I drink 8 to 16 ounces of sports drink or coconut water in addition to my regular water”


2. Refuel - Nutrition is Key

Monica of Run Eat Repeat (@monicao) - likes to get some nutrients in as soon as possible - “Within 30 minutes of a run I make sure I eat something to refuel. Right now I'm digging chocolate milk - it's so good!”

If you are like Kristen and you prefer not to eat before a run, post run nutrition is even more important - “I don't typically eat before a run, I make sure that I fill up my body to make up for the calories I lost.  I almost always have a smoothie post run, full of fruit, protein powder, chia seeds, milk, and spinach.  It has plenty of protein and carbohydrates to refuel my muscles.”

Stephen Morrison from How Many Miles? (@stevieglesga)- notes the benefits that certain supplements can have  “I also take Glutamine Peptides post exercise to replenish my stocks and limit catabolic muscle break down (guess who is doing the “Become a Personal Trainer” Challenge?).  They taste like out of date cheesy wotsits but my Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) isn’t nearly as bad (as my breath)”

Stevie chugging his Glutamine Peptide

3. Compression Socks

Compression Socks for after runningMonica - “And finally compression socks - when I'm relaxing on the couch after a tough run I make sure to pull on those socks.”

Jeff “For long distances, I really like to pull on a pair of compression socks for several hours afterwards.  For me it seems to help with staving off any soreness from a long run.”

4. Massage and tissue work 

Stephen is a believer in the “relief” of a good massage - “After each race I go for a stretch and a walk (if it’s a Glasgow race, I walk the 3-4 miles home) and normally book myself a next day deep tissue massage, on top of the usual foam rolling. The pain I endure with the massage isn’t that far removed from the pain I was previously in, but it’s corrective and “good” pain, right?”

If massages aren’t an option on your budget, Tribesports own @jack recommends having a good roll around on the floor for your deep tissue work - “I'm all about the foam roller! I seem to permanently have pretty tight calves so I make sure I roll these out after any run and I try to do this a few times a day just normally (when I remember). I also roll out my quads, hamstrings and the tibial muscles - the muscles on your shins. If you find the foam roller isn't doing enough then it's also worth using a lacrosse ball to really help release those tight muscles - I've found it's especially useful for glutes and calves.”

“Occasionally I will lay on my back with my legs and feet up on a wall.  This helps get rid of some of that lactic acid build-up to help me recover faster.” - Kristen 

5. Strength and flexibility

Stephen rounds off with some wise words - “It’s what I do BEFORE my runs that help the most. Pilates and Yoga increase flexibility and squats, lunges and box jumps etc. strengthen my quads, hamstrings and glutes.”

How do you recover after a good run? Share your top tips in the comments below:

  • Encourage

    encouraged this.

    Comments

    20131122040327-janeh

    Great tips, I follow them all as much as possible. @natkat and I have been doing a very slow, short recovery jog about 4-5 hours post long run. This seems to help move the lactic acid and loosen the muscles. I really enjoy the recovery jog, no pace pressure, only about 4-5 kms.

    20160211082501-joannag2

    same here...but when it's really bad....make the hubby give me a massage too lol....I just started using the calf compression sleeves....and to be honest i'm kicking myself for not investing in them sooner

    20140327205626-murrays

    Great tips!!! I love my compression pants and socks!! I also drink as much as a full liter of chocolate milk after a long run.

    Joanna G encouraged this.

    20131122040327-janeh

    Actually, the compression socks is something I have thought about, but not acted upon yet. Can you guys advise on brand, cost and online availability??

    Maria G and Jeff G encouraged this.

    20130212033325-veludrl

    i didnt follow any of the above tips,,after a 15 km run and suffered a lot ,,,:(

    20120310173432-cheeta

    I'm like Kristen and I can't eat before a run - but after I get back and complete my stretching I'm straight to the blender to make my banana & peanut butter smoothie! yum :)

    Cags R encouraged this.

    20150130190908-johnd28

    I always use a golf ball muscle roller to massage and really dig into my muscles which feels amazing and then I also take Biosteel supplements which helps my muscles recover after i run. Check it out and see what you think? http://www.zzathletics.com

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