Congratulations to all runners who completed the Chevron Houston marathon and half-marathon this weekend! In honor of your hard work and achievement, I'd like to share my guide to recovering from the impact that major a race has on your body. Enjoy this three-phase guide from your Houston running doctor:
Phase One: Right After Your Finish
Don’t give in to the impulse to collapse after you cross the finish line: instead, turn to a light jog or walk a few laps so your legs can cool down without developing cramps.
Even if you’ve maintained hydration throughout the race, your job isn’t done; right after you finish running, drink something with electrolytes like juice or a sports drink. Water will do, if that’s all you have on-hand.
As soon as you’ve finished your cool-down, stretch. A lot. If you don’t, you’ll really regret it tomorrow.
Phase 2: The First Hour
After running through your immediate post-race checklist, it’s time to refuel: typical post-race foods like bagels, bananas and sports snacks are great, but stay away from new or spicy foods as your stomach will probably be more sensitive.
If you feel any pain at all within this window, start icing the area to prevent swelling and hopefully reduce injury,
Phase 3: The Next Day(s)
In order to help get rid of the muscle aches you’re surely feeling, keep bringing in the fluids to facilitate healing.
Break out your foam roller and spend a lot of time focusing on your sore muscles, or really indulge and book yourself a professional massage.
Get Back in the Saddle
If you can handle it, take a light jog or walk around the block to loosen up your muscles and speed up your recovery time.