Tips For Post Running Routine
When it comes to running preparation is everything. You need to have the right running shoes, comfortable running shorts or pants and it also helps to have a few extras like a smartphone with great tunes and a bottle of water.
We all know how to prepare and warm up before running, but very few people put much thought into a post running routine. A good post running routine will help minimize any muscle pain you picked up during your run and keep your energy levels from falling too quickly. If you have a tendency to go for a run only to come home and collapse on the couch read on and discover how to improve your post running routine with these great tips.
1. Replenish With H₂O
Running, like many other forms of exercise, is going to make you sweat. Even in cooler weather, you can expect some degree of perspiration and that loss of liquid needs to be replaced. While it may not be practical to be constantly guzzling down water during your run, always carry water while running and make sure you replenish and rehydrate after your run. Water is always a good choice, but sports drinks that contain electrolytes will help you immensely. Slow down after your run and make sure you replenish with H₂O within 15 to 20 minutes after you’ve stopped running.
2. Give Those Muscles A Stretch
After running, it’s important to do some cooling off exercises and stretching is the best way to go. After putting them under strain, stretching helps to work out the muscle cramps in kinks in your muscles so you are less likely to feel any pain in the hours or first few days after a rigorous run. Stretching is also great for all of your joints and will keep you flexible and ready to go again in a day or two.
3. Have A Snack
You may be ready to eat something after a run, but you don’t go overboard. After a run, it’s better to have a small, healthy snack like flavored milk, yogurt or some fruit. Granola bars, fruit juice or protein bites are also a good post running snack option. These snacks will give your tired muscles a little bit of a much needed energy burst so you can get on with your day without feeling fatigued.
4. Eat A Well Balanced Meal
A couple of hours after a run is the best time to have a good meal. This meal should include protein, fiber and some light carbs. A ham and salad sandwich is a good option, followed by a piece of fruit like an apple or a banana. Bacon, eggs and toast is also a good option if you like morning running. If it’s later in the day, opt for a salad or steamed fish and vegetables. It doesn’t really matter what you choose but steer clear of fatty fried foods and anything overly processed. The key is to recharge your body with nutrients, not flush it with fake food devoid of nutrients.
5. Sit In The Tub
Sore muscles are no joke and it’s important to get some relief as soon as possible after a run. If you can bear it, sit in an ice bath for 15 minutes or so. When we say ice bath, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have huge chunks of ice floating around you. Simply fill the tub with tepid or cool water. If you did add ice, let the ice melt before you sit in. Ice baths are not comfortable so getting through the first few minutes may feel like torture. Once you get through those first few, uncomfortable minutes, aim for sitting in there for 15 minutes or so. The cool water will minimize any muscle inflammation and once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it.
Once you’ve sat in a cold bath, go right ahead and have a slightly warmer shower. Not too hot though, or you’ll undo all the magic of the ice bath. If you’ve really put your muscles through their paces during the day, enjoy a nice warm bath with Epsom salts an hour or so before going to bed. This way you and your muscles will be warm and relaxed which will help you sleep like a baby.
6. Book Yourself In For A Massage
It may not be practical or cost-effective to book in for a massage after every run, but once in a while it’s a real treat for tired, overworked muscles. Why not end the week with a good massage and have the masseur or masseuse focus on the muscles in your legs. While the focus should be on your legs, don’t overlook the tense areas like your back, neck and shoulders.
7. Sneak In A Post Run Nap
A long run can really wear you out and it’s normal to feel tired afterward. After you’ve had a meal and a bath or shower, sneak in a post-run nap. Obviously, this is not going to be possible if you’ve decided to run during your lunch break, but if you run after work, have your shower, a little bite to eat, stretch out for a power nap and enjoy all the benefits of napping. Try not to nap for too long or you’ll feel groggy for the rest of the day and evening. 20 minutes or so is more than enough for a quick dose of rest and relaxation.
8. Get To Bed On Time
Your post running routine shouldn’t end a few hours after your actual run. Getting plenty of sleep every night is also a must. Try and get the recommended 8 or so hours every night so you wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning and ready for a new day. That includes your running and exercise routine.
You may not have the time to incorporate all of these great tips for your post running routine, and that’s fine. You can mix and match these tips depending on the time you have available or maybe include different ones depending on the day of the week. Just get out there and do what works for you.
- 5 Things To Do After Every Run – Active