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5 Post-Run Recovery Dos and Don’ts

woman runner

Every runner must have a strong pre- and post-session ritual. You are not only putting your physical health at risk but your mental health too if you sustain an injury or have to stop working out as a result of burnout.

5 Post-Run Recovery Dos and Don’ts

Here are some post-run recovery tips that any athlete can take advantage of in order to heal properly and rest well.

Don’t Forget the Cooldown

You would never neglect the warmup, so treat the cooldown process with the same importance and respect. Cooling down is the only way to stretch out the muscles that may need it the most, and to look for any tweaks or pains that you may have missed during a run. It will set your body up for the next run perfectly and ensure that your muscles relax alongside your breathing and heart rate.

Do Remember to Replenish

When you go for a run, particularly a long one, you may be doing great things for your body, but you are also losing a lot. You lose fluids and specific things like electrolytes which, if left unchecked, will cause chaos within your body and impact how well you can reengage. You can find products that help you replenish lost electrolytes fast, and this is important so that you don’t succumb to dehydration and other complications.

Don’t Go Straight Back Out

Whether you are feeling buzzed from the runner’s high or just eager to beat your personal best, do not give in to temptation. There has to be a proper rest period in between runs, regardless of how big or small. Your body needs to be given a chance to wind down and recover before you get back out there. People run every day, and this is perfectly fine. The big thing to remember is that there must be a period in between bouts of physical activity unless you want to run the risk of becoming exhausted and hurting your muscles.

Do Find the Right Stretches

If you don’t stretch, you will sabotage your process. Running is a sport, a big physical activity that really takes its toll on the runner, especially when done at a high intensity. Your body needs to be given the right tools to deal with the demand, and a major part of this is stretching out. Focus on your legs, arms, and back, and make sure that your whole body gets taken care of.

Don’t Neglect the Shower

Hitting the shower after a run is a very good habit to get into. The sweat and bacteria that you accumulate as you exercise can cause your body to get infected or have an acne breakout. This is stressful enough as it is, and showering off is the only way to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Do Refuel

While you won’t want to eat immediately after a run, you do have to refuel your body at some point. It is recommended that you wait about an hour or at least half an hour post-run before you eat.

However, when you do eat it, has to be more than just a small snack. It must be carbohydrate focused so that you are replacing everything you lost, and you should try to have some protein as well. For meat eaters, this could be chicken, fish, or even eggs, and for vegans, look for tofu or plant-based protein sources to get what you need. Eating is non-negotiable and you run big risks if you fail to have a decent meal at least once in the day after a big run.

Learning the dos and don’ts of running is essential if you want to have a long and healthy relationship with physical activity. Eating right, rehydrating, and protecting your muscles are the three big points to take on board.

image credit: Pixabay and Pexels

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