To support the thousands of runners and walkers that participated in the Brooksie Way 5K, 10K, and half-marathon we want to share our favorite post-race tips for muscle recovery.
- Stretch it out– Post-race, you may feel a little sore, sluggish, or tired. While your first instinct may be to lie down until your muscles feel normal again, try to incorporate some movement.
- Right after the race: Don’t sit down right away! Walk around for 10-15 minutes after you cross the finish line. Stopping too soon after a race or long run can encourage your legs to cramp or pool lactic acid.
- The next day: Though you have more than earned yourself a day off, consider the timing of your rest day. Going out for a very easy recovery walk or run 1-2+ days after a race can help stretch out the legs and increase muscle recovery. Be sure to keep your pace at a comfortable speed!
- Refuel– After a tough race, refueling your body is critical for muscle recovery. But be picky about your post-race foods! Look for selections high in protein, carbohydrates, and some fats.
- Right after the race: Can you stomach food? If so, consider fuel like oatmeal, bananas, or something a little meatier like salmon or grilled chicken breast. All are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, or fiber; important factors for your recovery. If your stomach isn’t ready for food yet, grab a sports drink or chocolate milk!
- The next day: Look for foods with high antioxidant levels like fruits and veggies. Think about trying some pancakes or eggs for breakfast, and fish or chicken for lunch or dinner. Though important right after your race, sports drinks, along with soda, or juice, should be a limited part of your muscle recovery plan. They are high in sugar and sodium.
- Be proud of yourself! – Confronting your emotions after a big race is important for a full recovery, so take time to celebrate your success. Regardless of the outcomes of the race, be proud of yourself and your accomplishments!
Are you a seasoned veteran with your own race plan? Or, are you new to the racing world and working from the Brooksie Way Training Programs? Tell us how our muscle recovery tips worked for you in the comments below!