The best way to recover after running a half marathon
You just ran 13.1 miles – Congratulations! So, what do you do next? While you’ve probably been super focused on the weeks leading up to the event, you may not have stopped to consider what you need to do once your cross the finish line. Here’s a guide so that you bounce back from your race and feel ready for your next one:
Right after you finish
- Keep moving! After you cross the finish line, spend around 10 to 15 minutes walking around in order to prevent cramping and give your legs time to cool down.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Water is good, but after such a long run it’s best to re-fuel with a sports drink to increase your blood sugar levels and replenish your electrolytes.
- Don’t forget to stretch. This is one of the most important things to do post-race and can go a long way in helping prevent future injuries.
Days after the race
- Continue to hydrate and stretch. If you are really sore, try using a foam roller for extra muscle relief.
- Eat lots of fruits, carbohydrates and protein to help your body properly recover.
- If you’re up for it, you can get back to running the day after your race. That said, it’s important to take it easy and not rush into serious training for at least a week.
Weeks after the race
- Gradually add running into your every-other-day workouts until you are back to where you were before the half marathon. If you’re training for another race, it’s safe to jump back into full-on training mode around two weeks after the race.
- Listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Rest is a vital part of the recovery process so it’s important to make sure you get a sufficient amount the weeks following your race.
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Photo credit: Simon Thalmann