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Recover Right

Welcome back to the second article in the Running Report Series. This week is all about recovery, because recovery is very important! I just completed my second marathon and recovery was key to walking like normal again. I truly believe that recovery comes from what you eat and what you do. Here are some of my tips for recovery for different phases of after a race.

Right After the Race:

Find your family and friends and give them a hug. I find that the more positive the environment post-race, the better you feel which will speed up recovery. Another great thing to do right after you race is grab something to eat and drink. Although you may not feel like having anything, you should within a 30 minute window after the race. You’ve just broken down muscle fibers in the race and need to get protein to your muscles for recovery. I recommend a greek yogurt, a protein bar, or some chocolate milk. I personally like Quest or RX Bars for right after my race. Another thing for right after the race is warming up or cooling down. If you race in cold temperatures, you want to calm down your muscles as soon as possible to ensure they don’t seize up. If you run in hot temperatures, you will want to cool down so that you don’t overheat

Later that Day:

My number one tip for later after your race is do what you want. Whether you want to take a nap, eat everything in sight, or go out with friends I recommend everything. After my Marathon I went back to the hotel and took a quick rest. After that I went home and spent the afternoon with my parents, and by the evening I was eating two protein bars, a pint of halo top, a bowl of popcorn, and so much more. I listen to what my body needs and do whatever my body wants. I wouldn’t recommend only sitting around after a race because a little bit of movement helps. Even if that movement is walking to the fridge to get more food.

The Next Few Days:

After your race I would continue to rest and relax. I bought my new favourite recovery tool after this marathon. They are called Air Relax recovery boots. Now I know these are a little pricey for most people, but if running is your sport I highly recommend them if you want to feel refreshed before every run. I get up every morning after my race and sit in these boots. I also booked a massage for two days after my race. If you book a massage, I would recommend booking for 2-3 days after your race. If you book a massage too soon, your legs might be too sore to be worked on to get the best benefit. Another thing I do the few days after a race is continue to eat whatever my body wants. Even though I am not being active my body continues to want the same amount of food it wants when I run. This is just my muscles and body trying to recover after the race. Go ahead and eat whatever you want, because you deserve it!

Last Day Before You Start Running Again:

This day is one I like to take to pamper myself. I also like to get in the right mindset for being active again. Sometimes I will watch a movie or youtube video about running. I might also read a running magazine and make sure I have new shoes for my next training cycle. Another thing I like to do the day before is have a special treat that I might really want that day. I also like to give myself a pedicure and sit in my recovery boots some more. I go to bed early and then wake up refreshed for my first day back to running

Thanks for reading my weekly running report! I hope you enjoyed it and can recover a little easier next time you race.

Stephanie Johnston is in her first year at at University of Windsor in the education program. She did a four year undergraduate degree in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is now studying to become a high school math and physical education teacher. She is currently a New Balance brand ambassador and training for her second marathon.
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