We all know that completing a half marathon is difficult, but your work isn’t done when you cross the finish line. No, with your race finished and your time achieved, it’s time to nail your rest and recovery and start preparing for the next competition.
To help, we tapped up Steve Paterson, marathon runner and Runners Need expert. So before you consider your next half marathon finished have a look at his top tips below.
Rest and Recover
The most important thing to do after a half marathon is to make sure you rest the day after, so be sure to kick back and relax. However, it’s important not to stop exercising and training altogether in the days that follow, get slowly back into the swing of exercise during the post-race week with some low-intensity workouts for the active-recovery phase. Every runner is individual, but usually, it may take eight-ten days for the body to flush out waste products and for muscles to repair. To stop exercising altogether is not an effective form of recovery, as the repair process incorporates moving and bending the ligaments and tendons.
You need to efficiently cool-down post-race, I’d suggest walking calmly for around 30 minutes, or if you feel up to it, even a light jog. This will help you flush out waste products and pump newly oxygenated blood through your fatigued muscles.
Give in to Cravings
It’s pivotal that you eat and drink something after the half marathon. The sooner you start getting food in your system, the quicker muscles will repair, and the lost nutrients will be replenished. Recovery drinks and bars tend to have a lot of protein and salts in them, but ultimately, I’d suggest going with foods that you really fancy and crave – there’s no point cramming down something that you don’t actually want to eat.
Foam rollers are great for post-race recovery. Rollers help the body’s blood flow, and ease muscle soreness, tightness, and pressure, making a real difference to how you physically feel. Note that it’s important not to use it on an injury site as that can make it worst, but foam rollers should be a key part of your active recovery.
Set a New Goal
It’s common for racers to experience a ‘post-race slump’, especially if the half marathon has been your ultimate fitness goal, so I would advise setting yourself another physical goal or something to achieve. Not only will this benefit your physical health, by keeping you active, but by setting a new goal, this may aid your mental wellbeing, as the post-race accomplishment moment may feel anti-climactic to some.Internet Explorer Channel Network