Runners tend to skip on post-run recovery, but you’ll recover faster, have better runs, and feel refreshed and recharged if you have a muscle recovery plan.
Here’s what to do.
Muscle Recovery: A step-by-step plan for muscle recovery
One | Stay hydrated with an electrolyte drink (like coconut water), especially if you felt like you lost a lot of water through sweat. Or, check out this list of 10 post-run drinks to consume, depending on the type of run you finished.
Two | Cool down with yoga for runners. Just a few minutes to keep the muscles flexible and to maintain range of motion.
But, runners are decidedly split on whether to stretch after a run.
Some runners don’t find any benefit in post-run stretching while others feel looser and more fluid during their next workout. If stretching doesn’t give you any of these good feels, you might want to skip it.
Foam rolling with a foam roller to relieve muscle tightness and increase circulation. The foam roller shown below has ridges for a deeper massage. It’s a good idea to roll over your major running muscles to speed your recovery.
Three | Cool down even more with a cold bath or shower to constrict the blood vessels and reduce swelling.
Like stretching, you may want to experiment with cool showers or baths to see if it works for you.
There are some guidelines to cold showers for athletes, according to Andy Schmitz, Sports Performance manager for USA Triathlon.
He recommends starting conservatively with a cool water temperature because each person will have their own cold threshold. The water temperature should be between 54 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but cool water, between 60 to 75 degrees can still be beneficial. You’ll only have to endure the cold for 6 to 8 minutes and no longer than 10 minutes.
Don’t rush to take a hot shower because you’ll want to warm up gradually. If you can’t warm up or stay warm, then do take a warm shower.
Four | Wear compression socks to increase blood flow and circulation.
featured image via Morgan Sessions