Regardless of whether you’re training for your first 5km or half-marathon, the steps you take post-run can be just as important as the steps you take during. Sometimes we get too focused on the run itself that we neglect what comes afterwards.
That’s why we’re chatting to our Master Trainer, Brooke Jowett, about a thorough post-run routine to help ensure you the most success on the track!
No matter the distance, putting in the extra time to allow your body to recover correctly post-run can help to repair and rebuild damaged muscle fibres, reduce the likelihood of injury, and help overall strength and performance.
Tip 1 - Cool it down with a slow walk
Once you cross over that finish line, your body may be telling you to immediately sit down.
As exhausted as you may be, try cooling down by walking for a little bit before coming to a complete halt. This will help the blood to keep pumping around your body and reduce the likelihood of dizziness.
Tip 2 - Rehydrate and refuel
Once you’ve finished celebrating and you’ve finally got your breath back, your focus should be on refuelling and rehydrating!
Within 30 minutes of finishing your run, you should be topping up your fluids with a sports drink – electrolytes are your best friend after a long run. Your body needs to replace the depleted glycogen, electrolytes, and fluids as soon as possible.
Tip 3 - Gently stretch it out
Do not neglect stretching right after your run. 10 minutes of gentle static stretches is all you need to reduce post-run fatigue!
Try to focus your attention on your hamstrings, hip flexors and lower back. Once your body has cooled down properly, it may be a good time to bring out the foam roller to further relieve any tight muscles and assist with blood flow.
Tip 4 - Time to feast
About one hour post run is a great time to tuck into a healthy meal. Your brain and stomach might be telling you to opt for a big greasy burger but what your body really needs is some protein, veggies and complex carbohydrates.
Take it slowly and limit the celebration drinks where possible. Your body doesn’t need to get stuck into several beers or cocktails after the dehydration it’s just been through (although it may be tempting!).
Tip 5 - Rest your body
Your body has been through a lot today so prepare to sleep like a baby!
Hopefully you’re physically and mentally exhausted enough to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, but if not, why not give one of the Kic Meditations a go?
Keep that rest flowing into the next day with some slow movement, like a yoga flow, to help increase blood flow and prevent muscles from tightening.
Following the above steps can help to keep your running goals on track, improve your performance and keep that wonderful, amazing body of yours free from injury. If you’re working your way up to your big run, good luck, you’ve got this!
If you’ve just finished your long run, go you good thing! I’m proud of you. Keep on running Kic Squad!
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