Congratulations! You’ve smashed that half marathon, but the next challenge is all about your recovery.
We’ve been asked a few times for recovery tips after a half-marathon, given that we’ve just done one ourselves we thought it would be a good idea to write down our top tips.
- Move - keep moving (sorry!), walk around for at least 30 minutes post-race to keep the blood flowing to your muscles and prevent stiffness and cramping.
- Stretch - stretch out those tired legs.
- Hydrate - drink plenty of water, coconut water or a sports drink.
- Refuel - a banana is ideal.
Post-race (same day)
- Refuel - try to eat a couple of small meals high in protein and carbs. We like bagels with eggs, salmon and avocado as our post-race meal.
- Soak - have a soak in a warm (not hot) bath, add epsom salts to help with muscle aches.
- Rest - put your feet up, literally. Elevate those legs.
- Hydrate - more water (or a sports drink), check the colour of your urine to make sure you are hydrated enough.
- Sleep - get some good zzzzs in!
- Compression - this one is up to you, but some people find wearing compression clothing aids recovery.
The following days
- Hydration (again!) - you might wake up feeling stiff so keep the hydration up! It really will help flush out all the toxins and help recovery.
- Refuel - keep the good food going in!
- Massage - use a foam roller, concentrate on areas giving you any trouble, probably your calves, quads or hamstrings.
- More massage - treat yourself and book a sports massage. Research shows the sooner you have a massage post-race the better so we suggest the next day or so. Hydrate well after using the foam roller or having a sports massage.
- Move - when you feel up to it, a gentle jog/walk will help encourage blood flow to your muscles.
The following week
- Start to build up your running again, but only if your muscles feel fine to do so. Try mixing in some cross-training (so you are using muscles you didn’t use for the run), swimming, yoga or Pilates to build overall strength.
- Running too soon after a big event can do more harm than good. Rest days are important, take them!