There are five things you can do that I have learned from other coaches or through personal experience how to get those legs feeling normal again. Recovering the proper way is also a way to prevent injuries from happening.
- HYDRATE, DRINK! (not just beer) It is very important to continue to stay hydrated after your big race. Water is good, but also other electrolytes products like Gatorade, NUUN, or any type of sport drink. If you like milk and chocolate, chocolate milk is the best recovery drink you can take right after your run.
- ICE ICE BABY! The first thing I do after my long run or marathon race is sit in an ice bath for 12-15 minutes. On my way to my hotel or home I will swing by a store to buy 3 bags of ice and sit in icy water. I learn this trick in college from my athletic trainer and probably one of the best running advice someone gave who didn’t run.
- GO RUN SOME MORE! Recovery run that consist of 1 to 2 miles (or around the block) may hurt but you’ll be back to your old running self in no time! These runs will help loosen up your tight quads and calves to speed up healing, and you don’t have to make it a 5-miler. Just ten or twenty minutes is enough.
- SOCK IT UP! Blood carries oxygen, oxygen helps the healing process, compression socks speeds up blood flow and the leads up to quicker recovery! You may look funny walking in public with knee highs, but just wear your race shirt and people will think your crazy because you run a marathon, not because of your socks.
- TREAT YOURSELF TO A MASSAGE, YOU EARNED IT! The day OR two after your race, book yourself an appointment with a massage therapist or a date with your foam roller. I highly recommend the Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller. This will reduce the pains of muscle soreness. Spend some time where it hurts the most and do it in small time segments, but often.
Lyons Endurance Training
Personal Running Coach