I don’t know about you, but when I do a long run, the first thing on my mind after finishing is to drink a recovery drink and get a shower. Food is usually the last thing on my mind until I get freshened up.
According to an article I came across today, I am doing everything wrong when it comes to that crucial time window after a long run.
This information was taken from an article on Active.com
•Within five minutes of finishing, eat a small recovery meal of protein and simple sugars. A glass of chocolate milk and a piece of fruit work great.
•After a half-hour, focus on hydration, and begin consuming 16 to 32 ounces of water. This is particularly important if it’s hot out.
•Also within a half-hour, complete a runner-specific core routine that helps you warm-down properly, correct imbalances, and strengthen your body to withstand the impact forces of running.
•Within about an hour, eat a full meal focusing on protein, low glycemic index carbohydrates, and healthy fats like olive oil or avocado. Basically, eat real food and avoid anything processed.
•After your meal, take a shower and start mentally recovering. If you can, try to relax and read or watch TV (this is also a good time period to continue hydrating).
•If you have the time, take a nap. This is when your body begins to repair the damage from your long run. Sleep is the ultimate recovery tool in your toolbox, so use it as often as possible.
•When you wake up, go for a short walk or do some easy mobility exercises to help you loosen up. Active recovery always beats passive recovery and the added blood flow will give your recovery a boost.
In theory this all looks feasible, its just a matter of me actually doing it…and remembering to do it. I wish I could have time for a nap after long runs, but being a mom of 4 kids, that doesn’t happen too often — maybe one day.
Does this list sound like your typical “post long run routine”? I will try and remember this information after my next long run, but I sure cant make any promises that I will change my current routine — afterall, aren’t we really creatures of habit?