Runners Recovery Top Tips

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With one of the biggest running events of the year just around the corner, the nerves are most likely kicking in for the London Marathon. How many times have you pounded the pavement and felt as if your legs are made of lead? It’s important to treat your legs well after your run – not only will this make your workout more fun, it’ll increase performance as well as speed up your recovery time.

  1. Stretch

Make sure you stretch thoroughly post-run, within three to five minutes. Cool down with a jog then get stretching. Do a hamstring, calf, glute, chest and quad stretch before jumping back into your car, else you’ll end up with super tight concrete legs for the rest of the day. Allowing a window for cooling off and stretching enables lactic acid (the by-product produced by your muscles) to be flooded into your bloodstream, thus eliminating it from your body.

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  1. Post Marathon Food

Whether you pound the pavement or hit the treadmill, it’s vital to give your muscles and tendons all the fuel they need to enhance your running performance. Protein shakes (either the ready-to-drink kind or powders you mix with water or milk) can do just that, giving your body a good dose of nutrition to help take your running – or marathon running – to the next level. Food-wise, you should go for something as soon as you can bear it, preferably carbohydrate and protein in a 4:1 ratio. Plump for a balanced meal, like sweet potatoes, chicken and leafy green veg. Craving something specific? Listen to your body – it’s telling you exactly what it needs.

  1. Run a Bath

After your run, relax in a hot bath as soon as you can. Soaking muscles in hot water relaxes them back into their normal shapes. Opt for a bath rather than a shower; whilst showers are still good, baths are much better.

  1. Do Leg Drains

Lye on your back with your legs extended upright with feet upheld against the wall for three to four minutes. This is an effective exercise to get the blood to drain from your legs, which allows clean, fresh blood to flush into them as soon as you stand up. It doesn’t really matter whether you perform leg drains following your stretching or once you’ve had your bath – either way, you’ll no doubt notice an incredible difference in your legs once you stand on your feet.

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5.) Hydrate

Get your H20 fix throughout the day to replenish muscle fluid loss. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day, which will top up the fluid lost due to exercise. Never drink the water all at once, just gently throughout the course of the day.

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