Saturday 24 February 2018

It's important to let your body heal - then plan your next race!

Mick Clohisey on the real benefits of proper recovery

Mick Clohisey
Mick Clohisey

Congratulations - you have just completed 5k or 10k! You might be feeling sore, stiff and tired in the days following the race and this is normal. You have just put your body under some stress to complete the race. It's important to remember that recovery after a race is just as important as training and can be the best way to improve.

Here are a few tips to help you recover in the days after your race:

1. Jog easy. It's important to let your body heal and recover after a race in order to get the benefits of the effort you have just put in. Jogging easy will allow you to do this. I'd suggest running for as long as you feel and try to run on a soft surface such as grass or hard sand to help the legs recover. If you are very tired after the race, you may need to take a few days off running and just walk for a few days. You won't lose fitness - but it's important to keep moving!

2. Do some stretching. Calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and quads tend to get tight after racing so a little stretching might help.

3. Dip your legs in the sea or under a cold shower. I use this as part of my regular training routine and find the coolness great for helping my muscles to recover and reduce any tightness or soreness particularly after a race.

4. Get a massage. If your body is sore, massage can speed up recovery as it improves circulation and tightness. The sooner you rub down your legs, the better.

5. Relax and enjoy the post-race buzz. Don't forget to enjoy the moment. Celebrate your achievement and enjoy a treat! Then get planning your next race!

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