how to recover after a long run

How To Recover After A Long Run – All You Need To Know

Feeling extra sore after that long ten-mile run you just did? Or perhaps your muscles are feeling a bit stiff even from that short jog around the block? Whatever the case might be, feeling exhausted the following day after running can be a not-fun experience, which can then discourage you from hitting the road again in good time.

However, we are here to help you out! Read more in this article to find out ways on how to recover after a long run. We will give you tips and tricks on how to do so, so that you can get back into doing what you love the most, which is running! With that said, let’s get started!


Things You Will Need for this Tutorial

When it comes to recovering after a long, strenuous run, you might be surprised to find that there really is not much to it, in terms of feeling your very best and not sore the morning after. Here are some things you will need in this tutorial to make it a smooth one:

  • Food.
    In particular, having foods high in carbohydrates and proteins are sure to help your muscles feel less sore, while also rebuilding tissues and energy lost from straining yourself while on your run. Examples of good food dishes include eggs, whole wheat bread, chicken, and fruits and vegetables.
    Refer my previous article : How To Eat Like A Runner For The Next Workout
  • Ice.
    More specifically, a lot of ice: you can most likely find large bags of them at your local supermarket, which you can then use to prepare an ice bath for your lower body, as a means of getting rid of any pain that you are experiencing.
  • Epsom salts.
    Related to baths, perhaps you might want to use Epsom salts for a nice, warm bath, as means of relaxing all of those tense muscles in the body. Epsom salts have been shown to have medicinal effects that can help you take the edge off of your body’s soreness, which can help you get back to your old self in no time!
  • Foam roller.
    Aside from stretching out your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps, you might also want to consider using a foam roller to loosen and roll out any tense muscles that otherwise could not be stretched out. You can purchase them at any gym store, and you do not need to pick the most expensive one in order to feel the effects right away.
  • Water.
    Also known as the “essence of life,” having water is a no-brainer when it comes to replenishing the fluids lost in your body after a long, sweaty, and grueling run.

Also, depending on just how long and how intense your workout was, you might want to consider taking in more different kinds of liquids, such as Gatorade or Powerade, as means of replenishing those electrolytes that were lost during your run. These are more for the longer, more-intense workouts, but all the same, they will keep you from cramping up afterwards.

How to Recover After a Long Run

Now that you have all of the necessary items for the process, it is time to get started. Here are the tips and tricks to help you feel better after that long, grueling run:

1. Take in plenty of fluids.

Once you have completed your run, it is highly recommended that you replenish your body with plenty of water, considering that you had just spent a long time sweating outdoors in the sun, and as a consequence lost a lot of liquids in your system. Water is the standard, go-to drink, with which its neutral properties keep your body in balance.

On the other hand, you might also want to consider drinking Gatorade or Powerade, especially if you have been running for over an hour in intense settings. These particular drinks have added properties which can not only restore your body to homeostasis, but also replenish electrolytes to prevent you from cramping up afterwards. You do not need them for all workouts, but only just those that are long and hard.

2. Stretch.

Remember what your coach told you: stretching is important. It helps you loosen up tense muscles and prevent them from getting sore the next day, as well as keeping you from getting easily injured. Simple moves such as touching your toes, extending your calves and hamstrings, and otherwise elongating those muscles help you relax right after the workout and keep you healthy.

You might also want to look into getting a foam roller to loosen up those muscles even more, since stretching can only go so far as to do that. Granted, it can be painful at first, especially if you are super tight, but over time, you will get used to it.

3. Eat wholesome food.

While it might be tempting to snack on sugary, high-fat foods after a solid workout, resist the urge to do so. Not only do these dishes leave you feeling sluggish and awful, but also it counterbalances your exercise regime. Instead, stay wholesome with whole-grain bread and pasta, lean proteins such as chicken and eggs, and plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables.

4. Take an ice bath (optional).

If you are feeling the onset of an injury coming on, then an ice bath can be beneficial for you. True, it will be painfully cold the first time you step into the sub-zero bathtub, but give it some time and soon enough, you will notice the pain in your legs ceasing to hurt.

For a video on how to prepare the ice bath, you can watch it here: 

5. Take a warm bath with Epsom salt (optional).

On the flip side, you could also take an Epsom salt bath as means of calming your body down and destressing after an otherwise intense workout. Epsom salt has been shown to have medicinal healing properties, so you might want to give it a go!

For ways to set it up, check out this video here: 


Altogether, you do not need to feel super sore and miserable after that long, intense run. By taking measures to rehydrate, stretch, and eat well afterwards, it is safe to say that you will be on your way to a smooth, speedy recovery.

With that said, happy running!

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