There’s nothing as satisfying as the feeling of crossing the finish line at the end of a big race. However, you might want to start thinking of the finish line of one race as the starting line for the next one if you want to bounce back as quickly as possible after a particularly grueling half marathon.
Recovering from a race is an exercise in your versatility as a runner. The following are a list of five things you can do to fully and quickly recover after a big race. With these tips, you can continue to progress as a runner after tackling each new challenge that comes your way:
Don’t consider recovery to be merely physical
Mentally recovering from a race is just as important as physically recovering. A very difficult race can leave you feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted. Concentrating on recovering mentally will keep you motivated race after race to keep getting back to hitting the pavement.
You can work on recovering mentally by concentrating on the next big running goal on your horizon. You can also take a few days off and give yourself a reward for successfully completing a race or setting a new PR.
See Related: How a Chiropractor Can Make You Run Faster
Take in enough water, protein, and carbohydrates
Of course, the physical aspects of recovery require careful consideration. One of the most important things you can do in the days immediately after a race is make sure your getting enough water. Water helps your body to replenish fluid loss while energizing you and cleansing your system.
You also need to make sure you’re getting enough protein to repair sore muscles that have experienced heavy exertion during the race. Carbohydrates will help you get your energy back.
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Get a massage
You don’t want to get a massage immediately after a race because it could initially increase inflammation and cause the breakdown of muscle tissues. However, after a day or so a massage could be a big help to both your mental and physical recovery.
See Related: Should I See a Chiropractor or Massage Therapist?
Have an ice bath
An ice back will help tackle one of the biggest problems encountered during race recovery: inflammation. An ice bath after the race will encourage circulation and minimize soreness after race day.
See Related: Should I Use Ice or Heat to Relieve Lower Back Pain?
Attend to any persistent aches and pains
Consult your chiropractor regarding particularly persistent soreness so that you can have an adjustment if necessary.