Fitness Friday: How To Recover After a Half-Marathon

If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you know this past Sunday was the day of my second half-marathon! We ran a beautiful course in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina. We were really lucky with the weather being warm and sunny when just days before it had been cold and raining.

At The Finish Line

Now that the race is over, good race recovery is super important. Here are some tips on How To Recover After A Half Marathon.

Recovery Phase One: After You Finish

Walk it Off

After you cross the finish line, don’t collapse into a heap! I know you are tired, but do a little walking  to give your legs a proper cool-down & keep cramps at bay.

Hydrate

Continue hydrating after the race. Water is good, but if you have access to Gatorade, coconut water, or something with electrolytes that’s even better. There will likely be beer at the Finish Line. By all means, imbibe if you wish but keep chugging water as well so you don’t get dehydrated.

Stretch It Out

This one is a must.  After cooling down for a bit, stretch your legs! If you were great about stretching while you were training, keep it up! Be thorough … stretch your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and IT bands. You’ll be SO glad you did the next day and several days after!

 

Recovery Phase Two: An Hour to Several Hours After You Finish The Race

Eat!

After you’ve done your stretching and had some H2O, find something to eat. Most races will have foods such as bananas, sports bars, etc. Not all races are created equal, so if it isn’t specified on the Race Day info that food will be available, bring some with you.

Rest

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep to facilitate the healing process. Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body after an effort like this, so rest up!

 

Recovery Phase Three: A Day Or Two After the Finish

Keep Hydrating!

When you wake up the day after race, you are probably  going to experience a little muscle soreness in your legs (perhaps elsewhere too). Keep drinking water and eat healthy vitamin-packed foods to speed up your recovery.

Schedule a Massage

After 13.1, you’ve earned yourself a massage appointment to work out the kinks and aches & pains due to the DOMS effect (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Ask the therapist to spend extra time on your calves, hamstrings, or whatever is the most sore.

Do a Little Recovery Jog

Take a walk around the block or jog if you are up to it. This will help loosen up tight muscles and speed up recovery too. Two miles should do the trick!

Celebrate!

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done! You just ran 13.1 miles — that is AMAZING! I see so many people beating themselves up because they didn’t meet their goal time. Stop the negative self-talk! You just did something incredible, so celebrate your awesomeness.  And as they say, you still lapped everyone on the couch!! 🙂

To make things easier, I created this Half Marathon Recovery Checklist that you can Pin, Printout, Save, or whatever!

If you like it, give it a Pin!!

Half Marathon Race Recovery Checklist | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

Running and Eating My Way Through The Long Weekend

Last weekend was Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend, one of the much-needed long weekends we get every year. I feel like this year is flying by already, and I don’t know where the time has gone! Finding balance with writing, half-marathon training, and spending time with friends & family has been a challenge. The long weekend was JUST what I needed to get back on track.

I started Friday off baking these Valentine’s Day M&M/Chocolate Chip cookies

M&M Cookies

M&M Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thanks to an awesome recipe from Averie at Averie Cooks. She has some of the most delicious-looking food pics I have ever seen!! Packed up a couple to take to my amazing Pilates teacher, and I was off for my Pilates session at 3.

Ending the evening with a little bubbly and the yummy Champagne & Cheese Fondue that I posted last Monday.  You can see the hubs hard at work making sure the cheese doesn’t stick 🙂

veuve-sm

fondue-prep-sm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kicked off Saturday with a 4-mile run to prepare for Sunday’s long run

sweatshirt

and then headed down to Kula Sweet in Los Altos to visit with Courtney and do a little shopping 🙂

Image courtesy of Kula Sweet Boutique

Image courtesy of Kula Sweet Boutique

Ended the evening with dinner at Palo Alto Sol with Jason. Basically had to roll ourselves home, but it was SO good!

Sunday aka Long Run Day with Jason, Andy, and Courtney. We’re all doing the Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon in just a couple of weeks (gulp!)  We all did a half marathon last year, but I haven’t kept myself in top training shape since then. This will be my first time to Palmetto Bluff, and I’m really looking forward to staying at The Inn and exploring the area.

Planned to run 9 miles through & around Stanford campus. Weather was gorgeous and luckily we had Andy to weave us around the most interesting parts of campus and keep the run fun. BTW, no filters used on this pic – it was this clear & this blue!!!

stanford-campus-feb

 

After the run, we had a great and well-deserved brunch at the Coupa Cafe at the Stanford Golf Course (yep, still eating!) I was thinking about the French toast I was going to order during the ENTIRE run!!!  Gotta stay motivated, right?  LOL

Ended the day with a quick shop for dinner at home and a nice soak using the Aches & Pains relief bath salts that Village Naturals Therapy sent me.

Village Naturals Therapy Bath Salts

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to walk on Monday after the long run, but these soaks did the job! So happy that I wasn’t stiff the next day.

Monday, last day of the long weekend (sigh), but I guess it had to end … Took a MUCH NEEDED rest day from the past couple of days of training. Last big ticket item on the long weekend agenda was a drive up to San Francisco to meet Audra, Jonathan, and Parker for dinner! My first time meeting this little guy!!

Parker

He is a doll & hilarious! Definitely kept the waiter on his toes :-))))

All in all, it was a great weekend spending time with the hubs, laughing while catching up with friends, keeping up with half-marathon training, and of course eating along the way 🙂

What did you do over the long weekend?

Was it action-packed or did you take a much needed time-out?