So, now what? Some of us have other races in mind, while others want to maintain what they have worked so hard to gain.
The key is to train smart. A very important part of training is recovery. Below are some simple steps to follow post-race week to ensure that you are completely recovered and injury free for your next challenge!
Post Race Recovery Week
1.) Continue hydrating as you were during training.
2.) Eat 5-6 small meals per day to re-establish your body’s routine.
3.) Stretch upon waking up and before bedtime.
4.) Get a deep tissue massage and/or use a foam roller to help relax tight muscles.
5.) Ice achy and sore areas, especially knees, ankles, back, and hips. Place a thin layer of clothing or thin towel between ice and skin, ice for approx. 10 minutes at a time several times throughout the day. If muscle related, feel free to alternate ice/heat to stop inflammation and keep muscles relaxed.
6.) If you are not feeling moderate to extreme joint or muscle discomfort, do 2-3 short (3 miles or under) easy recovery walks and/or runs over the next week.
7.) After one week, resume your workout routine with your mileage base being your longest training run distance, meaning this is the longest you should be walking or running on your “long run day” if you are beginning another training schedule within 2 weeks.
8.) If you are still experiencing moderate to extreme discomfort anywhere after one week, continue steps 1 through 5 until discomfort subsides. If you are still experiencing any discomfort after 2 weeks, seek expert advice.
9.) CONTINUE YOUR TRAINING! You have worked too hard to stop now! Take care of your body and yourself! YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!