You just crossed through the finish line after a long race… now what? Post-race recovery is just as, if not more, important than the warm up you do before a race. What you eat, what you do with your body and how you follow up in the gym as all factors that can make or break your recovery.
Here are some tips to keep in mind for after your next race:
After Race Eats
Your body needs refueling. You’ve spent your last bursts of energy and your body is utilizing everything it can get its hands on. First and foremost, take in some water, and follow it up with foods high in carbohydrates and protein. This not only helps in basic recovery of nutrients, but also stimulates muscle regrowth.
Keep Your Body Moving
Don’t stop moving for at least another 5-10 minutes after you cross the finish line. A sudden lack of movement will cause the blood flowing to your legs to pool leaving you with the possibility of fainting. Walk off the tiredness and then continue on to stretches. Stretching is vital in the muscle regrowth process. Without stretching or a massage, your muscles can cramp up and your overall muscle gains will be severely stunted.
Getting Back to the Gym
No one wants to take too long of a break after a race, but resting your body is one of the most important parts of the recovery process. Take a day off, and then try cross-training to work different muscles while your others rest up. Overexertion can actually be detrimental to both your health and your overall workout goals.