The Ultimate Guide To Running Recovery


THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO RUNNING RECOVERY

Running recovery isn't just about putting your feet up (unfortunately). Instead your recovery should be aimed at keeping you performing at your best and running injury free

We asked running guru Jon Grayson at Six Physio Moorgate how to make the most of your running recovery time to reduce your risk of injury and keep you pounding the pavements. 


Warm Up

The first stage of your recovery begins before your run. It's important to do a good warm up to get your heart and lungs ready for action.

Avoid static stretching before you run as not only will it not get the blood pumping but it puts you more at risk of injury.

Instead run lightly for 5 minutes at 50-75% your normal pace; if you're treadmill training at the gym, jump on the bike or cross-trainer first.

Then follow this with some simple and dynamic running drills for 30 seconds each, such as calf pumps, calf jumps, heel flicks, high knees, alternate lunges, lunge walks, drop squats, hip openers and hamstring kicks.

This will pump your muscles with blood, raise your heart rate, and start the adrenaline flowing, getting you in the right training zone quicker.

Post-Run Recovery

RE-FUEL AND HYDRATE

If your run was short, easy, or a recovery run, keep well hydrated and eat some protein-rich food; these foods will encourage rapid recovery, helping your body repair your muscles. 

STRETCH

You can also do some light static stretching. Stretching areas above and below sore spots with a foam roller. It's important to understand how to use a foam roller properly for an effective deep tissue massage and recovery. 

ICE

If you've pushed through your theshold or been out on a long run try to immediately ice the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes every few hours for 24 to 48 hours for short-term relief. If you’re feeling brave try an ice bath for your legs for 10 minutes.

A cold bath will cause your blood vessels to tighten and drain, when you get out the bath they’ll fill with ‘new’ freshly oxygenated blood flushing out toxins. 

SLEEP

Unless you're running late at night resist the urge to have a snooze after your run. Gentle walking to keep active will help boost your recovery process. Once bed time comes try to get a good 8 hours sleep to help repair and rebuild your muscles. 

How to Recover from Injuries

50% of running injuries are reoccurring ones so if you’ve been injured before, you’re likely to get injured again.

If you have reoccurring sore spots in the front or outside of your knee, front or inside of your shin, around your Achilles tendon or under the sole of your foot that don’t ease within 48 hours, then you likely have one of the top 5 running injuries.

Make sure you get assessed by a running specialist for long-term injuries like shin splints, ITB syndrome, and plantar fasciitis. A tailored strength and conditioning programme and running technique tips can go a long way.


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