Congratulations, you just completed the 2015 Classic 10K and 5K Races! We've got some great tips for you on post-race recovery to keep you healthy.
Suzanne K. Meier, RD, CDN, CDE, Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutritionist and our in-house running guru offers the following information to help you recover from your run.
Our bodies store a limited amount of readily available fuel (carbohydrates) in our muscles and liver; because this fuel will be used up while running a race it is necessary take in enough carbohydrate to replete these stores as well as rehydrate our bodies after the run. The most effective time for doing this is within the first hour after you exercise. A high carb food along with some protein to help repair muscle after intensely exercising for an hour or more is important along with adequate fluid to rehydrate.
Suggested foods to help do this are:
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- Fruit and Cheese
- A Smoothie Made with Greek Yogurt
If you are ready for a more substantial meal try:
- Pasta with Chicken/Lean Ground Meat or Turkey/Soy Protein Crumbles
- A Rice and Bean Dish
After exercise you will need 2-3 cups of fluid for every pound of fluid you have lost during the activity; weigh yourself before and after training runs to get an idea how much fluid you typically lose. So for example, if before your training run you weighed 156 pounds and after when you weigh yourself you now weigh 152 pounds you have lost 4 pounds and should drink 8-12 cups of fluid to replenish. Use this strategy on race day.
Stretching and flexibility exercises stretch and elongate muscles. Good flexibility is
as important a part of fitness as stamina. Muscles must be strong, but they also have to be long (as opposed to contracted) to work optimally. The benefits of greater flexibility may go beyond the physical to include stress reduction and promotion of a greater sense of well-being. Exercise disciplines which incorporate stretching with breath control and meditation include yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. In creating your flexibility workouts, it’s important to include stretches for all of the major muscle groups in your body as well as the smaller muscles
Stretching Do’s and Don’ts
- Use a full range of motion around joints when stretching
- Stretch your quads after each run to ensure soreness does not turn into an injury
- Complete at least one stretch per major muscle group, optimally holding each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds
- Tight calves can throw off your entire stride and cause injury, don't neglect these small muscles
- Stretch all parts of your body when your body is warm…either after warm-up or after working out
- Complete equal stretching exercises on both sides of your body or a joint
- Breathe deeply during all stretches to relax your muscles more
- Bounce during stretches, as doing so can cause muscle tears and joint injuries
- Forget to stretch opposing muscle groups equally (e.g., quads and hamstrings)
- Stretch to the point of causing sharp pain or intense discomfort
- Continue with a stretch if you feel a sharp or immediate pain in any joint or muscle
- Hold your breath or strain while stretching
Hopefully these tips will aid in your recovery from the Classic races.