It’s the time of year when some of us are doing really really long runs, and a lot for the very first time. So, I wanted to give a quick guide to my post-long run ritual to ensure you’re fighting fit to train the next week.
Step 1: Chocolate milk.
Why? Its important to re-hydrate, replenish carb stores, and encourage muscle repair with a bit of protein. Chocolate milk achieves all 3, as well as often being more palatable than solid food immediately after a run. I tend to buy a bottle from the petrol station that’s half a mile away from my home, and then walk home, which also aids recovery.
Step 2: Legs up the wall.
I will then get a towel on the floor (for the sweat), and lie down with my legs up the wall, as close to 90 degrees as possible. Why? To fight against blood pooling – gravity helps get the blood back to the heart.
Step 3: Check my stats and post about my run on social media if I want to brag.
You don’t need to do this one unless you are a #stravawanker, but its something to do whilst lying down with my legs up the wall, plus especially in spring marathon season, there is a bit of camaraderie about getting your long runs done, and congratulating each other about it.
Step 4: Get into a warm bath and bathe.
I tend to get very cold after a run, as I’ve been sitting/lying around in sweaty clothes for a while. I find that the best way for me to feel normal again is to sit in a warm bath – this is also quite soothing for the tight muscles.
Step 5: Get dressed, maybe with compression clothing.
If my legs are feeling particularly fatigued or sore, I will put some compression leggings on – this does the same thing as lying with your feet up the wall, but means you can sit/stand the right way up and get on with other things. I’ll certainly do this if I have to get on with other stuff the rest of the day.
Step 6: Prepare food – usually a substantial snack.
As I tend to do my long runs starting mid-morning, I will often miss lunch whilst on the run, so I tend to snack once I’ve settled from the run instead. A bagel with peanut butter, banana and honey is a good one.
Step 7: Lie down
Usually on the sofa infront of a box set – this is a luxury I have that I’m aware others might not, but it still helps my running. I can continue to brag about my run on strava, whilst keeping my legs up, and if I did pick up any niggles, I can ice them too 🙂
Step 8: Keep Hydrating and eating fruit.
Water, hydration tab, and as much fruit as I fancy – fruit replenishes carbs + vitamins, which will help my body as the long run will have caused a suppression of my immune system. And dehydration
Step 9: Stretch n Foam roll (view the VLOG here)
Later on in the evening, usually whilst preparing dinner or after eating dinner, I will do a long stretching and foam rolling session – allows me to iron out any tightness, and identify any questionable areas
Step 10: Early to bed for a good night’s sleep.
Get going on your recovery with a good night’s sleep!
What about you? What’s your post-long run ritual? Anything you do that I don’t. Anything that you don’t do that you’re now going to add in? Make sure you comment below to let me know.
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Angela Isherwood is the founder of I Run Success
She is a REPs Level 3 Personal Trainer, a Run England Running coach, and a multiple marathon runner. She is a London Marathon Good for Age runner, a Boston Marathon Qualifier, a parkrun Run Director and Trainer for Goodgym Colchester.