The first time you go out on a run after not training for an extended period of time will probably make you very sore the day after. Properly managing your recovery is key to get back on the treadmill or track. As you run more often, you’ll find that shorter sessions don’t make you as sore anymore as your body becomes more proficient at recovering from these shorter workouts. As you get deeper into your training, though, and start doing longer runs, you’ll find that as you push to progress, you’ll need to focus harder on recovering effectively for your next workout.
Running fast workouts and nailing long runs are crucial parts of the training process.
During the run, we’re feeling strong, pushing through that pain, and when we finish, we’re greeted with one of the best feelings in the world – the runner’s high.
Proper hydration begins before your workout, and should be maintained throughout the day. Drinking a liter of water just before a run isn’t the best idea and can cause stitches as you run. Instead, make sure you’re drinking plenty every day, and that you’re properly hydrated before any workout. This will prevent cramping during your workout, and should keep you going as long as you continue to drink little, and often as you need it through your run. As soon as you finish your run, start rehydrating around ten minutes after you finish. Using an electrolyte solution at this point can be a good idea to get salt back into your body that would have been sweated out. If you’re looking for supplements to help with your running performance and recovery, here is an excellent place to look.
After hydrating, beginning the process of rebuilding your muscles is the next priority. Thirty minutes after a workout is an optimum period where muscle protein synthesis is heightened, and most protein can be absorbed. Protein is the key macronutrient that assists with tissue repair, and additional protein servings should be consumed throughout the rest of the day. A whey protein in a shake is a simple way to get this in after your workout, along with a serving of carbs soon after.
This post-run fuel could be something like chocolate milk, Endurox, yogurt, granola, and banana and peanut butter bagel with orange juice. You may aim for a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein.
Many people stretch before exercising, but it’s really most effective after a run. After you’ve finished, and as you’re cooling down, take some time to stretch the warm muscles, which will help reduce soreness the next day. Some myofascial release can also be useful, which is essentially self-massage with a foam roller or something similar.
This can be painful, but it’s one of the most effective treatments for muscle soreness. A cold (or even better, ice) bath will reduce inflammation caused by the workout, and mean you won’t seize up the next day.