How To Recover From Runs Quicker
Running can bring a lot of good for you. However, if you do not let your legs rest every once in a while, you will be undermining your efforts. Ensuring optimum muscle recovery is very important if you want to increase your running speed and performance while also gaining more enjoyment from running and improve overall mood. However, muscle recovery does take time. Here are 10 very simple ways on how you can speed up the process of muscle recovery, helping you get more out of your runs.
1. Hydrate Within 15 Minutes
In an intense run, you will be sweating a lot. Some people think that they will never sweat if they run in cold weather. While you may not see profuse sweating in the winter, you are still at the mercy of insensible fluid loss. The scorching heat of summer can amplify these fluid and electrolyte losses a hundredfold. Hence, it is crucial to drink the right kinds of fluids within the first 15 minutes of completing your run. At the very minimum, you should drink 20 ounces of fluid.
2. Begin Refueling Within 15 Minutes
When we say “refuel” we do not mean a full meal. You can take a large piece of banana or a cup of yogurt to start replenishing the calories that you’ve burned. This will also help resupply your body with the proteins it needs for muscle tissue repair. You do not want your body to use the proteins for energy purposes and this is why it is important to keep yourself fuelled when running. It is best to aim for a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4:1. Try getting a piece of peanut butter bagel paired with a glass of orange juice.
3. Stretch Those Muscles Within 25 Minutes
Stretching is no longer recommended before any running session. However, when it comes to your post-workout regimen, stretching is a must. Stretching allows you to reduce the level of soreness in the muscles. It also helps facilitate the more efficient return of muscle fibers to their normal or original length. Stretching after running can also strengthen connective tissues while helping with muscle tissue remodeling. It can also help improve blood flow for your next running session. Stretching also improves joint alignment while improving range-of-motion of the joints.
4. Immerse Yourself In An Ice Bath Within 30 Minutes
Professional athletes always engage in cryotherapy after an intense workout. They do this to help reduce the intensity of muscle pain while facilitating the faster resolution of muscle soreness. Overall, immersing oneself in a bathtub full of ice-cold water can help reduce the time needed for full muscle recovery. The only problem here is the initial shock of getting into cold water. Hence, you might want to take it slow. Start with a balmy 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can work your way from there.
5. Eat The Right Food Within 1 To 2 Hours
Within the first hour or two after completing your run, it is imperative to eat a well-balanced meal. This means you have to have the right proportions of carbs, fats, and proteins to help in the muscle tissue reparative processes. Running in the morning often means having a healthy breakfast of whole wheat toasts, eggs with vegetables, and oatmeal with fruits. The same is true if you’re running in the afternoon or evening. Your dinner should be well-balanced across the three macronutrients.
6. Get A Relaxing Massage And Take A Nap
Massage can facilitate the removal of lactic acid and other toxins from your body after an intense run. The faster you can get rid of these metabolites, the faster is the recovery of your muscles. Taking a nap has the added benefit of recharging the mind and body. It makes you feel more refreshed afterwards.
7. Take A Warm, Relaxing Epsom Salts Bath
Before you call it a day, try immersing yourself in a nice warm bath made of Epsom salts. This will help remove toxins from the body which may interfere with muscle recovery. Fifteen minutes in the bathtub should give you the kind of results that you need. Afterwards, you can ask your partner to give you a relaxing massage. A good alternative will be to use a foam roller or any other similar device to help loosen up your tired and knotted muscles.
8. Elevate Your Legs And Feet
As you get ready for a good night’s sleep, try raising your legs and feet by resting them on the wall in your bedroom. Doing so will help move the blood that may have accumulated in your feet and lower legs. This moves them toward the heart, allowing the blood to pick up more oxygen for recirculation. Do this for about 15 minutes or so, then get ready to say goodnight. You can also perform this maneuver right after stretching to aid in the removal of toxins.
9. Perform Gentle Warm-Up Exercises Before Each Run
Whenever you go on a run, make sure to perform a few gentle warm-up exercises first. You can skip the stretching as you will not need it at this point in your training. What you have to focus on, however, is to loosen up your joints and the rest of your body. Doing several repetitions of knee circles, hip rotations, and ankle rolls should help you “warm up” for the running activity. This minimizes muscle tissue injury while also hastening recovery afterwards.
10. Always Start Your Runs On A Gentle Pace
Some folks have this notion that running as fast as they can within the first minute or two of their run can help improve their running performance. Doing this will burn most of your fuel, preventing you from completing your exercise goal. Moreover, since you will be running at reduced oxygen efficiency, there’s a greater tendency for you to experience muscle soreness afterwards. As such, it is best to always start your run with an easy stride and relaxed manner. You can then pick up the pace to your desired speed.
If you want to optimize the benefits of running, you need to improve the way your muscles recover. These 10 tips should be very beneficial in your pursuits.
- 10 Tips to Speed Recovery After Exercise – Very Well Fit
- 8 Things You Should Always Do to Recover Faster – Runner’s World
- 9 Ways to Get Rid of Muscle Soreness After a Hard Run – Runners Connect