13.1 miles is some serious distance whether you’re an elite or a casual runner, so it’s important you ensure you have recovered properly to avoid injury post-race and you can get back to training for your next race soon after. Lots of runners plan their post-race strategy but have you sorted yours? Read these tips to help you recover following your race.
Being dehydrated post-race can impair your recovery, prolonging your muscle soreness and causing greater strain on your immune function. Restoring fluid balance after your run is vital to avoid the effects of dehydration on your training following the race. Take on your fluids little and often following your race and avoid drinking excessive amounts all at once. A sports drink containing electrolytes is ideal, but water is great too.
- Replenish glycogen stores.
Recovering your lost glycogen (carbohydrate) stores after your run is crucial for enhancing your recovery 24 hours after your race. The immediate post-race window is when your body is most likely to absorb all your nutrients to repair and recover so aim to have a snack/shake ready containing a combination of carbohydrates and protein. This can be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing your race.
- Muscle repair.
Post-race is the ideal time to have that post-race massage and get your compression gear on. This can help you reduce your muscle soreness time and increase lactic removal. So don’t forget to head to our massage tent at the race village and wear your compression socks or tights.
- Post-race training.
Train smart, not hard. During the weeks following the race, many runners get back to training hard out of fear of losing fitness or they just have that post-race pump. Easing back into it and training smart can help your recovery and maximise the fitness that you have gained through your race. Remember, a half marathon is a great distance to run so give yourself a break and take a few rest days or easy training sessions. Be aware that your body is more susceptible to injury during the days following your race as your muscles will still be repairing themselves!