Long Run Recovery

Posted: February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Recovering from a long run actually begins during the long run.  Proper fueling and hydration during the long run will help to minimize post-run muscle soreness.  Gradually allowing your heart rate to return to normal levels is more beneficial than suddenly stopping and sitting down at the conclusion of your long run.  A post-run walk will keep blood flowing to your major muscles and help reduce lactic acid buildup.

Using the Roll Recovery R8 (www.rollrecovery.com) while performing a post-run stretching routine will also help to reduce soreness.  ZICO chocolate flavored premium coconut water is my favorite post-run drink.  I also like to have salted pretzels, fig newtons and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich within 30 minutes of finishing my long run.

Paying close attention to unusual aches and pains and appropriately icing will assist in the recovery process.  Many runners become too committed to the training schedule and resume running when they could use an additional day of rest or cross-training.  A well-timed and much-needed rest day is as important to your training as a great run.  Injury-prevention becomes far more important as we build our mileage to the 21 miler just 3 weeks prior to the marathon.  I recommend erring on the side of caution as you monitor the signs your body is providing in the form of aches and pains.

Ice baths are counterintuitive after a long run but can be the cornerstone of a speedy recovery.  You have to be as determined to get into an ice bath as you are when running up Heartbreak Hill.  You need to be fully fueled and hydrated prior to getting into an ice bath.  Wearing a hat and fleece top, along with a cup of hot chocolate or tea will help you to tolerate the shock of sitting in an ice bath.  Playing music will help muffle the screams and won’t alarm your family or neighbors 🙂

Take a moment to cherish the sense of accomplishment in completing another long run and reflect on all the benefits of becoming a marathoner.  This 5 month journey will be a defining time in your life, one that you will rely on for further motivation and inspiration in the years ahead.

Having a strategic plan for fueling and hydrating before, during, and after your long runs will increase your recovery time!

  1. Ryan Stirling says:

    Hey coach,

    What do you recommend after an ice bath? Are hot showers acceptable? Should I wait a certain amount of time?


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