I’ve made a quick fire list of some of the most common recovery options, some of these things I do, some I don’t.. however the aim is to give you some ideas for extra things you can build into your routine.
I've listed the products I've mentioned here on Amazon (affiliate link, that helps support the site, at no extra cost)
In no particular order, let’s go!
Try to have something within 30 minutes of finishing your run, especially if you aren’t planning on eating a full meal for a few hours. Of course there are loads of options here, some of the things I like are: beans on toast, nuts, nut butter on toast, bananas, raisins, all the berries, avocados on toast and yoghurts. Think of options that combine carbohydrates, protein and some ‘healthy’ fats. Then you can get on with your day and have your next meal knowing you’ve refuelled properly. What options do you like to have?
Recovery Shake Powders
If you’re short on time these can be a good back up to have when you finish at home, or a handy post track workout drink to have when you’re away. When you’re researching products try to find something with the 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. We’re all incredibly busy in 2019, so worth having some in the cupboard to have after the harder runs, knowing you're getting a good balance of nutrition after your run.
SiS Rego is a good choice!
Chocolate milk and water are king for me.. you can buy chocolate milk ready made (non-dairy and dairy) or buy the powders. Plus fruit / veg smoothies, with things like blueberries, spinach, turmeric, banana, ginger, chia seeds, hemp seeds & nut butters. Coconut water is great if you’ve been running in the heat! What works for you?
Getting a weekly massage like the pros would be amazing, however my budget certainly won’t stretch to that. I try to get a sports massage once a month when I’m full on training. Yes it helps for sure, but there are other options you can do for example foam rolling or using a massage stick.. or my favourite the R8 Roller. Then there is the electric route with TENs machines like the Compex and PowerDot.. both of which are good for muscle recovery and can be used for strength work as well.
Without doubt the most important factor on this list. Your body rebuilds and recovers when you sleep. 8+ hours will be great. If you could prioritise one thing on this list, this is it.. plus it’s FREE!
Stay Active on Rest Days
Your rest days are just as important as your run days, but doesn’t mean you have to spend the day doing as little as possible! Even though you aren’t running on these days, still try to incorporate some light activity even if it’s just walking around to hit your step goal or spending a few minutes stretching at home, it will all contribute towards blood flow and stop you from tightening up. Make sure you avoid doing anything that will fatigue you, so obviously no running, cycling, cross training etc!
Elevating your legs
An old post run trick is to put your legs up the wall.. so lay down with your bum against the wall and your feet in the air. This causes the blood to flow back from your feet into your legs, right where your muscles need it.
Warm Baths / Ice Baths
Epsom salts in a warm bath sounds pretty good to me, it will help you relax, calm down, stimulate extra blood flow through your legs and kick start the recovery process. Ice baths are better, but I’m far too weak for those!
If you’re following a plan then it’s likely every third or fourth week there will be a recovery week, where the overall distance drops. This again helps the legs recover and the gains you’re making settle in.
Usually in the form of calf sleeves, although you can get socks, quad sleeves and full length tights as well. It’s not going to suddenly have you wake up the next day miraculously fully recovered, but will help stimulate the blood flow round the area, which is what recovery is all about.
So there we have it.. A few ideas to help you along your way to marathon success. Let me know how you get on!
Have a great week everyone,