Running Recovery

With the City2Surf over, many people will be using the next few days to recover. Running recovery is particularly important for those who were using the City2Surf as a training race for the marathon and half-marathon in September, as these people have to resume training this week. Implementing a proper recovery allows runners to beat the soreness and stiffness that can arise in the days after a race and return to training with ease.

Optimal recovery is based on several recommendations:

  • Rehydrate

    Primarily with water, but milk is getting more and more positive reviews in the research as a great recovery drink. Alcohol should be avoided.

  • Refuel:

    You should maintain good nutrition post-race, or speak to a dietician if you are concerned about the best recovery food

  • Rest:

    Proper sleep (>7hrs) improves recovery. This involves winding down in the evening and limiting exposure to computer, tablet, and smartphone lighting in the 1-2 hours before bed, which limits your body’s production of melatonin and the ability to fall asleep.

  • Repair/Rehabilitation:

    Some soreness in your muscles and joints is normal, but we can feel less soreness if we do a few other things, such as:

    • Gentle exercise, like walking or stationary cycling, can be a good alternative when the legs aren’t ready to resume running right away. Other stretches or foam roller exercise may help as well
    • Manual therapy: your Physiotherapist may also assist your recovery with soft tissue massage, mobilization, and assisted stretching
    • Cold water submersion – although professional sports use things such as ice baths, dipping in swimming pool or the beach.

If you are experiencing anything beyond the normal post-race soreness, then you should not resume any exercise until your Physiotherapist assesses you. While many injuries are not serious and the treatment can be straightforward, there are some injuries that can be serious, thus a Physiotherapist should rule out these injuries so you can ensure a safe return to sport and exercise.