You just ran your big peak race…what are you going to do next? Recover! The recovery period after a big race is just as important as the prep work, and the week following the race can be extremely important to your overall health. With plenty of rest and proper hydration you should achieve a smooth recovery.
Post-race: Recovery begins the moment you cross the finish line on race day. The most important thing to remember during this time is to hydrate! Consume beverages that contain electrolytes because your body will most likely be deficient in them. Be sure to get plenty of rest and stay away from any kind of exercise. Your muscles need enough time to rest and recover from running at max effort. Continue to hydrate, and make sure you are eating well-balanced meals. This period is all about replenishing lost stores of vitamins and nutrients and continuing to allow your muscles to rest. After about a week you may begin to start light amounts of exercise…except running. Cross-training is recommended because it can encourage the use of muscles that you haven’t been using while running. Yoga is also a good choice because it encourages stretching and flexibility. Muscle soreness from the race should begin to subside after a week and you may feel like your body is beginning to feel normal again. It is important to remember during this time that your body is still in recovery mode and you should resist any urge to increase your non running exercises too quickly. The entire second week should be all about gradually introducing your body back to moderate amounts of exercise while allowing for plenty of rest. After these two weeks you may begin running in small amounts. Increase mileage slowly. Following all this will make sure you’re fresh and recovered for your next build up.