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.
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.
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.
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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