Most runners have experienced post-run euphoria: the feeling of happiness and satisfaction that comes after a good workout. But what do you do when you’re not feeling so great? Here is your guide to recovering after a run, whether you’re feeling stiff and sore or just a little bit off.
1. Get Some Rest
The first step in recovery is to get some rest. This doesn’t mean that you have to take a day off from running, but you should focus on easy runs and cross-training for a few days. If you’re feeling fatigued, it’s okay to take a complete rest day.
2. Stretch and Foam Roll.
After your run, make sure to stretch and foam roll. This will help your muscles recover and prevent injuries.
3. Eat Right
Within 30 minutes of finishing your run, eat a snack or meal that contains carbohydrates and protein. This will help your body repair and rebuild muscle tissue.
4. Drink plenty of fluids.
It’s important to rehydrate after a run. Drink plenty of water or an electrolyte-rich sports drink. Avoid alcohol, which can dehydrate you and delay your recovery.
5. Take an ice bath or use ice packs.
If you’re feeling sore, an ice bath can help reduce inflammation. Fill a tub with cold water and ice and soak for 10–15 minutes. You can also use ice packs on specific areas that are particularly sore.
6. Get a Massage
Massage helps to improve blood circulation and reduce muscle tension. It’s a great way to speed up recovery after a long run or hard work out. Hydrotherapy treatments like water massage are often covered by insurance, so it’s easy to get started on your road to recovery.
7. Take an Epsom salt bath.
Epsom salt baths are a popular way to soothe sore muscles. The magnesium in Epsom salt can help reduce inflammation and improve muscle recovery. Add two cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.
8. Sleeping 8 Hours a Night
Sleep is essential for recovery. Aim for eight hours of sleep per night. This will help your body repair muscle tissue and recover from your run.
9. Keep a Training Log
Tracking your runs in a training log can help you see your progress and identify patterns that may be affecting your recovery. For example, if you notice that you always feel especially fatigued after a hard workout, you may need to focus on recovery strategies like foam rolling and extra sleep.
10. See a Doctor if You’re Experiencing Chronic Fatigue or Pain
If you’re consistently feeling tired or experiencing pain that lasts more than a few days, it’s important to see a doctor. These could be signs of overtraining or an underlying medical condition.
Tips for Recovery Runs
1. Start slow and easy. The goal of a recovery run is to loosen up your muscles, not exhaust them.
2. Focus on your form. Relax your shoulders and keep your strides short and light.
3. Take walk breaks as needed. If you feel like you’re getting too tired, slow down or take a walk break.
4. Finish feeling refreshed, not exhausted. If you’re feeling fatigued at the end of your run, you went too hard. Recovery runs should be easy and relaxed.
5. Make sure to stretch and foam roll when you’re done. This will help your muscles recover and prevent injuries. Recovery is an important part of training, but it’s often neglected. By following these tips, you can make sure that you’re taking the time to recover properly so that you can feel your best on your next run.