Just finished a good run? What do you do now? Some people head straight for the shower and others tuck into a meal. Check out this list of the worst things you can do after your run to make sure you’re not making any mistakes.
1) REFLECT: Immediately after your run you want to take time to consider how your run went. The Nike+ running app is good for encouraging you to do this as it tell you your average pace and asks how you felt during your run. It is important to monitor your progress so you can see if your stamina and strength is improving each time you run. The more attention and mind-space you give to your running sessions the more you’ll get out of them.
2) DON’T OVERINDULGE: Every runner needs to refuel after a run and you should aim to eat a decent meal that contains slow release carbohydrates and protein within two hours of finishing your run. Please don’t reach for cakes and chocolate, as that will not aid in your bodies recovery. Remember that a 30 minute training session will not burn off the calorie equivalent of a typical 45g chocolate bar – so put it down!
3) GO EASY: If you had a difficult run – you could not manage the hill sections or your pace was slower than you had hoped – don’t give up! There are bound to be set backs in your runs from time to time. You may be recovering from an injury and this can hold you back. You need to stay motivated and take every day as it comes….and more importantly enjoy every run on its own merit.
4) DON’T JUMP IN A BATH: Jumping in a relaxing hot bath might sound like the dream after a long run, but this will not do your muscles any favours. The best way to relieve your muscles and aid recovery after your run is to use a combination of ice treatments and heat treatments. First use ice to reduce any soreness and swelling. You can either fill a bath with ice cubes and cold water or apply a bag of peas or an ice pack onto the aching muscles. Once the pain has subsided after a few days of ice and rest you can then use heat to help relieve muscle pain, either through bath, or by using heat treatments.
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