You did the training, you made it to the start line, the nerves didn’t get the better of you and you’re now the proud owner of new race bling…what now?
Here’s a few post-race do’s and don’ts to help your recovery after you hit the Finish Line.
Do: Grab yourself a couple of cups of water and some electrolytes
Don’t: Head straight the pub for a beer or grab a coffee
Yeah, yeah, we know you’ve earned it, but trust me, you won’t thank yourself the next day when you wake up dehydrated. You need to replace all that lost fluid.
Do: Go for a cool-down jog or even a five minute walk
Don’t: Sit down or lay down for a long period of time immediately after the race
What??! I just ran the City 2 Surf I deserve to sit down! Sure you do, but not before letting the muscles go through a gradual, active cool down will make it very hard and painful to even walk the next day.
Do: Stay warm and if you’ve got compression gear or tights, get them on ASAP
Don’t: Walk round in just your running gear for the rest of the day.
Most runners have finished by 10.00 or 11.00am. At this time of year, it may be still cold or windy. Your body has been through a bit of stress, so get nice and warm and let the compression gear help deliver more oxygen to your muscles and speed up the removal of acids and the other by-products in those legs of yours.
Don’t: Starve yourself
And by eat, I don’t mean head for closest Maccas or down the bacon and egg roll you promised yourself at halfway. Most races will supply bananas, oranges or health bars of some sort; even a protein drink will aid your recovery. Later in the day, you can sneak in that burger.
Do: Always learn from each run or race event
Don’t: Say that was too hard. I’m never running again!
Every runner can learn something from each run. Here’s a tip – keep your race bib and write on the back at least one thing you learned from the race or something you’ll do different for the next race.
Well done and I’ll see you out there!