Recovery: The sport after the run

author : Team BT
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Transitioning from your "A race" back to training again

To truly enjoy from your workouts and see improvements in what you do, it's important to make sure you pay attention to your recovery practices. When you’ve gone through a long endurance event and given it your all, you need to find ways to ensure your body and mind bounces back as quickly as possible.

There are quite a few recovery practices to use after a long endurance event. The most important ones focus on your post-endurance nutrition and sleep. But aside from these, you can also focus on a few tricks that help your muscles.

So, let’s look at the best recovery practices after a long endurance event and take your training to the next level.

Taking advantage of good sleep

Sleep and rest in general are super important after you’ve had a tough workout or you’ve attended an event. There have been countless studies to show that increasing the number of hours you sleep also leads to increased performance among athletes. It’s really important to start sleeping between eight to ten hours a night – as well as taking a 30-minute nap if at all possible.

If you are finding sleeping a challenge, there are a few tricks you can try to improve the quality of falling asleep and then sleeping through the night. First, you need to make sure your bedroom is comfortable, dark and the temperature is cool rather than warm and hot. You should start creating a pre-sleep routine that involves avoiding light exposure for about an hour before sleeping. You also don’t want to use any electronics during this final hour. It’s a good idea to do a bit of exercise in the form of stretching and perhaps drink a calming drink such as chamomile tea. You might also benefit from meditation and relaxation techniques.

You should also start using a monitoring device to check how you are sleeping. Just like with any performance, knowing how you sleep can help you improve it. There are various phone apps and wearables that can help you identify when you sleep the deepest and when you don’t. Keep a sleep journal and start paying attention to little things that might affect your sleep.

Eating yourself to a full recovery

The other crucial recovery practice involves nutrition. Athletes who are preparing for a long endurance event know all about good nutrition. But many, unfortunately, lapse right after the endurance event because the stress and strictness are gone. However, it is even important to eat healthy food after the event to provide your body with the right nutrients to repair and restore function.

When you are doing training and attending long endurance events, you need to do your first re-fueling within 30 minutes of the exercise. As soon as you cross the finish line, you need to start drinking fluids to replace the lost electrolytes – a good and simple solution is to drink water with added sodium or any sports drink available at the finish line. It’s a good idea to weigh yourself before the event and right after to understand how much fluids you’ve lost. Then drink around 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound you’ve lost.

You should also aim to eat around 0.8g per kg of body weight worth of carbohydrates and 0.2g per kg of body weight of protein. These can be simple protein and carbohydrate bars or slices of meat and some oats, for example. A smoothie or protein shake also works well, and may be easier to tolerate than solid food immediately after a long-course triathlon. After the initial recovery meal, you need to eat another post-recovery meal two to three hours after the event. This should be a meal of whole food rather than trying to drink calories and protein. You want this meal to include plenty of protein and healthy fats along with certain carbohydrates. Raisins are considered a particularly great recovery food because their pH is dramatically alkaline, which helps balance out the blood pH, which will have become overly acidic after a triathlon or marathon. has great suggestions for good ingredients to keep in your kitchen and all the items in the list make a great post-endurance recovery snack and meal.

Check the benefits of compression

Your muscles will also benefit from elevating, as the practice can reduce swelling from extracellular fluid and lymph. While many athletes tend to try taking in the benefits by elevating their legs simply by lifting them higher while they are lying down, using compression garments might work better.

You can find compression garments online and the small investment will help pay off if you are serious about long endurance events. You should put on your compression boots and socks as soon as possible and take a few moments to sit still and rest. You don’t need to spend a lot of time like this – perhaps do it while you enjoy your first post-endurance meal or smoothie.

Mix resting with light exercise

In terms of getting back to training after an event, you really need to wait it out. For example, there’s a good rule of thumb for long distance runners, which states that for every 10km raced, you need to take a day off. So, if you ran 50km, you need to rest for five days before you start training again. This rest is essential in helping your body recover – remember, a long endurance event is not some casual gym session!

However, resting and avoiding hard training doesn’t mean you should lie in bed. Indeed, it’s important to keep the body moving to avoid a bad ‘hangover’. You just don’t want the training to be high intensity. A good idea is to focus on stretching and consider doing something like yoga. If you like, you can also just take relaxed walks in nature to keep the muscles moving without putting a lot of stress on them. You also want to see a sports massage therapist for proper post-event muscle treatment.

The above recovery practices are the best for those recovering from a long endurance event. It’s important to listen to your body and to take the post-recovery fuelling and rest seriously. It can guarantee your body makes gains from the event and it ensures it is ready for your next big event.

NikilS, a freelance content writer from OnlineSavingsHack loves to express his own experience and observations on Online savings, sports, and adventures. I love sharing knowledge by contributing articles in diverse genres.


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date: October 31, 2017

Team BT