Maybe you just finished a race or completed a set of intervals that you haven't done in a long time. Either way, you’re feeling way more sore than usual and looking for a faster way to recover.
These are my ultimate post-run recovery tips that are going to help you feel better, faster after a hard run.
This first one is actually something that I started doing back in my ski racing days, but it also really helps with running.
A flush run is a 20 minute to an hour long run where you're running at a very low intensity and incorporating 3 to 8 short bursts of accelerations or sprinting into the run.
You want these sprints to not have very much resistance. These are not hill sprints and these are not sprints where you're trying to break the world record for how far you can go in 10 seconds!
They are 7.5 to 8 out of 10 for effort.
Think about running on a slight downhill or flat road.
They should leave you feeling better, not worse at the end of the session. Now I know when we're really sore from running, we may be motivated to sit on the couch instead of going for a jog. But, I promise you that this kind of flush run is going to leave you feeling better, and it's going to help you recover more quickly than if you didn't!
Move Laterally, Rotate and Roll!
My second tip for your ultimate recovery from a hard run is to move laterally, rotate and roll.
Running is a very linear sport, even if you're trail running. We usually are just trying to move forward. And because of that, we can neglect or get tight through the muscles that help us move side to side or help us rotate.
Some of your recovery movements should include lateral stretching, as well as movements that rotate you through your spine, your hip joints, even your shoulders as well.
After you've moved laterally, rolling has been proven to help reduce soreness.
The key takeaway for rolling is to remember that you only need to roll for about 30 seconds per muscle.
You should incorporate movements using that muscle directly after you roll. And remember to implement good breathing while you are rolling out those muscles.
Post-Run Recovery Secret...Eat!
My third tip—I think you're going to like this one—is to eat!
In order for our bodies to build back up those muscles that we have broken down with our hard run, we need to make sure that the proper building blocks are there. That means having enough protein immediately after your run, but also throughout the entire next day.
The general guidelines that you will see say that if we eat about a gram of protein per pound of body weight, we should be getting enough to repair and rebuild. But the goals that you are going after for both body composition and performance are going to dictate that
What we often see nowadays is the under-eating of carbohydrates post-run. If you are working really, really hard when you're running, you're relying on your anaerobic glycolytic system. And that's exactly what it sounds like.
It's breaking down glycogen or glucose, either together in big molecules or as little molecules. We need to replenish some of that glucose to help us feel A-OK and ready to rock our next workout.
Our fourth tip for the ultimate post-run recovery is to drink enough water.
Having enough water means that your blood volume is high and you can effectively and efficiently shuttle those nutrients that you need into your muscles.
Make sure you're having that two liters a day and if you’re thirsty, to make sure you’re drinking more.
This is my favorite thing. In short, when you do a workout, your physical capacity is at a certain level. But immediately after you finish that really tough effort, your body is technically “worse off” than it was when you started.
However, if I provide myself time, as well as all the building components that we talked about above, my body is actually going to build back stronger than it was before.
You need to remember that recovery is as important as the actual workout when it comes to getting better at your running. If you're redlining a workout, then you need to allow time for your body to bounce back before you apply that stimulus again.
And, if you’re looking for a way to supercharge your cardio workouts and learn more about this model, I have a free Masterclass where I’ll be sharing the 5 Secrets of the Supercompensation System that you NEED to have in your training to increase your running distances AND run faster.