How To Recover From A Half Marathon Like A Boss


When it comes to half marathon training, or training for any long distance race, we (runners) often focus on the actual training aspect of it.  Building the miles, getting in all the speed workouts, the long runs and whatever is written down on our training schedule.  What we often neglect to even think about is recovering.  

The race is usually the end goal and we are so focused on that – whether it be just to finish it or hit a certain time that planning to recover properly falls by the wayside.

Truthfully, your entire training schedule should include some sort of recovery routine (not just a rest day) but if you happen to be like the majority of us and fail to do so on a regular basis then the morning after running a hard race can be a rude awakening.  

You might struggle to walk, dread the idea of squatting down to pick something up and probably will be forced to waddle sideways down a flight of stairs.  It happens to the best of us.  

Fortunately, there are things you can do following your half marathon so that you don’t feel so…ouchie.

 
How to recover from a half marathon LIKE A BOSS

Roll out.

Bet you knew I was gonna say that huh? It’s a pretty standard and sound piece of advice.  Rolling out your muscles after a hard race can help to get rid of adhesions, increase blood flow and mobility.  Some people like the foam roller, but personally I prefer to use the Addaday Type C Roller (pictured above) and their Marble Massager which is the bomb diggity.

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Rehydrate.

Chances are as soon as you crossed the finish line, you ripped your free beer ticket off of your bib and rehydrated with a pint or two.  Totally nothing wrong with that – I have been known to rehydrated with wine myself but if you want to restore your muscles back into working order then you also need to be rehydrating with lots of water and even some electrolytes.  I tend to skip the Gatorade and stick with Nuun tabs instead.  

Take an epsom salt bath. 

If you don’t already include an epsom salt bath as part of your recovery routine then do yourself a favor, buy yourself some epsom salt (like this Dr. Teal’s brand), fill up your tub with some hot water and soak your worries away.  The epsom salt helps to soothe sore muscles and speed recovery.  You can make it even more relaxing if you get one that are infused with aromatherapy scents like lavender, eucalyptus or my favorite, ginger.  

Walk it off.

Yes, I know you just ran 13.1 miles and walking seems like the worst idea in the world but going for a recovery walk or even *gasp* run the day after can really help to loosen your muscles up and work that lactic acid out.  Mind you, it shouldn’t be anything strenuous or long – just two or three miles should do the trick. 

Work it out.

Yup.  Just like rolling it out and walking it off helps so does working it out.  At my fitness studio we do a little restoration type routine that includes using our Ultimate Sandbags (specifically the Core Bags) to add some mobility back into our bodies and get moving again.  In fact, we even do a few Press Out Squats….sounds painful but trust me, your body will thank you the next day when you’re able to get out of bed or walk down the stairs without doing the side-shuffle. 

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Take a nap.

Or sleep in an extra hour…whatever you can do to let your body recharge.  Send the kids to grandmas, lock yourself in your room and let your head hit the hay.  Or just plop yourself down on the couch and put your feet up while you doze off to Netflix.  You do you.  You just ran 13.1 miles…you deserve it.


 

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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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9 Comments

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply November 15, 2017

Such great tips! I swear by epsom salts too.

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
Reply November 15, 2017

Great tips! A walk later in the day helps me a lot - that little bit of movement loosens things up!

Wendy
Reply November 15, 2017

I also like to do yoga for recovery after a long distance race--yin yoga is one of my favorites because holding the poses longer really gets deep into the tissues. Hurts so good!

Janelle @ Run With No Regrets
Reply November 15, 2017

Recovery is key! I like rolling out and walking as much as I can right after a race. And of course the victory nap after a good meal and shower!
Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted...Healthy Snack Alert: Health Warrior Chia BarsMy Profile

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply November 15, 2017

Who took that awesome picture of you on the concrete floor? Must be someone pretty cool.

angela @ happy fit mama
Reply November 15, 2017

Epsom salts are my jam! And walking always helps to flush out the soreness.

Angela Holmes
Reply November 16, 2017

Great tips! I love taking an epsom salt bath it makes me feel much light and relax.

Katie @ Hungry Runner
Reply November 16, 2017

Great tips! I am all about that nap, always makes me feel like a million bucks! Definitely will be doing most of these things after the Philly Half on Saturday.

Chrystal Rose
Reply November 16, 2017

I have so many friends that could take this advice right now! Awesome tips and you're so right about epsom salt baths-they're magical! Thanks for sharing
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