Running can leave you feeling sore especially when you are ramping up and training for a big race like your first half or full marathon. Over the years, I have discovered a lot of recovery tricks that would have been very beneficial knowing from day 1. I decided to share everything I do with you guys 🙂 Hope this helps aid in your recovery process.
1- Take a rest day
This might be SO obvious, but it is super important. Rest days are key to recovery. I like to incorporate at least 1 rest day per week. This will vary from person to person. Many of the athletes I coach have 3 rest days in a 14 day span. If you have not taken a rest day in awhile and you feel run-down, I would advise a rest day 🙂 Rest is an important part of training.
Note: If you are on a “run streak” your rest day might mean 1 very slow mile
2- Foam Roll and/or “the stick”
The best place to purchase these items is online or at a large marathon expo. I would recommend foam rolling 3-5x per week anywhere from 5-10 min at a time. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you aid in the recovery. Essentially you are giving yourself a deep muscle “massage” when you do this to remove tension. This can be uncomfortable at times, but it is worth it.
3- Hot Epsom Salt Baths
I have done the whole “ice bath” thing in the past, and it is very uncomfortable. I don’t necessary recommend that. Instead, I will recommend a hot epsom salt bath! You can purchase epsom salt near the medicine section of any drug store or target/walmart kind of store. Espom salt is said to remove toxins from muscles. It is also good to get the muscles in your legs warmed up. Warming up the muscles increases blood flow which increases recovery 🙂
4- Compression socks or pants
Compression socks/pants provide pressure to your legs which promotes blood flow to your legs. This helps prevents swelling and aids in the recovery process. You can purchase these online or at a running store! They should be pretty snug. I always struggle to get mine on and off. Tiux Compression socks are my favorite by far! You can get yours online here !
I like to get a deep tissue massage every 6-8 weeks. There are almost always gropons to places to get a massage for 40$. Once you find a place you like, most places offer monthly massages for $55 bucks a month. I have had a membership to a massage place for 3 years, and it holds me accountable to get a massage on a regular basis (otherwise I probably would not go as often).
If you live in a big city you might have access to a cryotherapy machine. This machine essentially goes super cold for 3 min. When you get out, the blood flow increases which promotes recovery. This is about $20 a session. Kinda fun to try the first time too.
6. Light Sauna Stretching or Heated Yoga
I like to go into a sauna and stretch out a bit. The sauna helps warm you up and promotes blood flow and stretching out muscles can help relive stiffness.
7. See an ART Specialist
Most larger cities have ART (active release therapy specialist). If something specific is tight, they are trained in ART to help trigger the area and provide recovery. Essentially this is like an active/deep tissue massage. These people are usually chiropractors/doctors.
These are all things you can do once you are ALREADY sore. Perhaps next time I will make a post on how to recover right away after a run to avoid getting sore 🙂 Hope this helps!
Victoria Phillippi — Run4PRS
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