Holy cow what a run this past weekend! I hit a distance PR of over 20 miles and was so happy! I did the run on a treadmill at the gym so I’m sure I was getting weird looks from the people around me since I didn’t leave for nearly four hours.
Hopefully, my trainer won’t tell on me since there is a 20 minute limit when people are waiting…to my knowledge no one was tapping their foot behind me! 🙂
I had come prepared with two 32oz bottles of Gatorade, several GU packs and kept running forever it seemed like. It was well worth the mental training as well as the physical training. Thank goodness for Sports Center on the TV and NCAA football!
Sunday I found that my right knee was a bit stiff and if you know what you’re looking for you can see a little inflammation on the outside edge of my right knee as compared to my left.
Sunday was all about ice, heat, ice, heat, ice, heat all day long as well as about 9-10 hours of good sleep Saturday night! Monday is a continuation of recovery from the long run.
When starting to recover from a long distance run I try to start immediately after I’m finished running and by immediately I mean the very instant I stop running.
My Loooong Run Rehab/Recovery
- Recovery Nutrition: Within 30 minutes I have a whey protein shake. I use EAS, but any brand will do. 20-25g of whey protein. Whey protein absorbs the fastest so it’s a good choice for getting protein to muscles quickly. I usually have this waiting for me in my car or have it in my gym bag for immediate consumption. Time is a factor for getting nutrients to your muscles immediately after exercise.
- Hydration: I continue to hydrate even hours after my runs. I try to take in a good 32oz of water in the hour following a run. I keep hydrating even after that, but that’s a good start for me.
- Ice Bath (optional): Some say yes to an ice bath, some say no, but I draw a tub of cold water and dump my entire ice bin in it from the freezer. I soak my ankles, knees, legs and hips for 20 minutes as soon as I get home to limit inflammation. It works for me. I DO NOT submerge and I watch the clock. Usually follow this up with a nice hot shower too!
- Ice: If you don’t like #3 then at least put some ice on your knees & ankles to limit a little of the inflammation. If I have any pain I ice it.
- Heat: I have a heat pack I can throw in the microwave I like to use on any pained areas. I will alternate the heat and the ice pack after I’m finished in the ice bath.
- Hydrate: I’m still sipping my H2O!
- Elevation: I prop my feet up and relax while I’m icing and heating for an hour or as long as I’m on the couch! …so quite a while.
- Rest: I take a nap for 1-2 hours if I have the time or just sit and relax.
- Movement: By now I’ve been finished with my run for several hours. I like to get up off the couch and just walk a bit to get the blood flow going to my legs. Nothing brisk, just movement so the lactic acid can be on its way.
- The next few Days: I ride the bike and continue to ice/heat any achy joints. I also make sure to get a little more protein than usual to help rebuild muscle and of course I continue to hydrate!
Your recovery is more important than even your workouts because the recovery period is when your body becomes stronger, faster, more agile and conditioned.