Long distance running is a great form of exercise yet also physically demanding. Whether you run for fun, are training for a marathon, or want to relieve stress, it all takes a toll on the body. There are many ways to help you recover from a long run, from hydrating properly to getting enough sleep. Here a few effective tips to keep you in top running shape!
The first ten to fifteen minutes after a long run are key to replenishing your body with liquids. Certain drinks that have electrolyte's such as Gatorade are effective as they balance out your pH level, move nutrients into your cells and move waste out of your body. It is important to aim between 16-20 oz. of fluid to replace the loss from sweating.
Food is an extremely important role in long distance running and it is key to fill your body with the correct amount of nutrients to help the recovery process.
Chocolate milk, yogurt, banana's, granola, and peanut butter are all effective foods when it comes to post run fuel. Eating a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Having the right amount of carbohydrates and protein ignites the recovery process. They fill your body with high nutritional value without craving the bad sugary foods!
Take a Nap
Getting enough sleep is key to the body's recovery process when running long distance. Your body needs to rest and sleep is one of best ways to accomplish this. After a long run your body is tired and needs to recuperate. 20-30 minutes for short-term alertness are recommended for napping. In addition, a way to help recover your feet specifically during the nap would be to use nighttime foot orthotics . Orthotics will help feet with any plantar fascitis issues and ensure you are on your way to happier and healthier feet.
Napping in general will improve your performance without feeling more tired and will not interfere with your nighttime sleep. If you are tired and are longing to shut your eyes for a few minutes, listen to your body and take a nap.
Stretching after a long run should begin within 25-30 minutes post run. Focusing on major muscle groups such as hamstrings, calves, hips, and quads, are key to refueling and recovering. Not much time is needed to stretch as 10-15 minutes are all you need to help the soreness and stiffness of your long run.
A foam roller is another tool that is extremely helpful for long runs. It helps alleviate knots, small injuries, and any tightness you might be experiencing. Loosening up the muscles will help your body recover in a natural and healthy way.
Those are my tips on how to recover from a long run. Hydrating and sleep are great ways to get back on the path, but following all of the tips will be beneficial to bringing you up to your most optimal athletic running levels. Running is physically demanding and can take a toll on the body.
Have your own tips, have some to add, or disagree with my tips on recovering from a long run? Simply use the comments section below and we can discuss the best techniques for not only running properly, but also for preparing your body to heal up and do it again! 🙂