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Recovery From A Hard Run

Posted by: on March, 23 2012

From Asics.com:  Whether you just finished a race, an intense speed workout or a really long run, your recovery should involve more than plopping down on the couch in front of the TV.
Eating something may not be the first thing on your mind, because you may not be hungry or feel like you could tolerate any food. But munching on some carbohydrates and protein (aim for a 3-to-1 ratio of carbs to protein) after a run can help minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. If you really don’t like the idea of eating something solid, drink some chocolate milk—it has the right ratio of carbs to protein and tastes pretty refreshing after a run.
Another strategy that’s popular among long-distance runners is to take an ice bath. Simply fill a bathtub with cool water, get in (wearing running clothes if you want), and then dump a five-pound bag or a couple of trays of ice into the tub. It’s not exactly relaxing, but it’s an efficient way to reduce inflammation and soreness all over. If a full ice bath is just too much, use ice packs on especially sore spots, such as your quads and knees.
If you’re feeling sore or fatigued, listen to your body and take a day or two off from running. You can still do low-impact cross-training such as walking, biking, swimming or the elliptical trainer. Any of those activities will give your running muscles and joints a break while still working on improving your fitness and endurance.
Of course, a massage can be a great relief for muscle pain and stiffness and speed up your recovery. If you go to a professional, just make sure to ask for a gentle massage if you’re really sore. You can also use a massage tool, such as a foam roller, to loosen up those tight spots.

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