Post Race Recovery Strategies
As uncomfortable as it may be, keep walking after you finish your race for 5-10 minutes; this will help prevent joint stiffness and muscle tightness minimising the onset of pain and aiding the recovery process.
Ensure you change into a warm set of clothes as soon as possible to prevent hypothermia.
Eat a high carbohydrate-protein combined snack within 30 minutes after completing your race. The carbohydrates kick start the replacement of muscle energy stores, the protein aids muscle repair.
Eat a balanced meal within 2 hours after your race and ensure you rehydrate adequetly.
Spend 10-20 minutes performing static stretches to prevent the onset of muscle soreness over the following days. Continue this routine for a few days. Soak your body in a cold bath (ice bath), lake or ocean within a few hours of your race. This aids in decreasing inflammation in the working muscles, thereby easing pain and aiding recovery. Hyperice Knee ICT can quickly aid in the recovery of any inflammation you may develop in the knee. They are also available for your back, shoulder and utility version also.
Foam Rolling can be used to self-release tight muscles post race. A massage in the week following your race will aid your recovery and reduce muscle tightness. Allow sufficient time for your body to rest before returning to training. It will take your body longer to recover after hard races or long distance events such as Marathons, Olympic and Ironman Triathlons - Try cross training/low intensity exercise such as walking, swimming, or the cross trainer to aid recovery without subjecting your body to large impact forces.
When present; attend the ISCP marquee past the finish line where Chartered Physiotherapists will be assisting Athletes with their cool down and giving advice regarding injuries. Consult your Chartered Physiotherapist if you have any aches, pain or niggles that do not settle within a few days post race. They can perform an assessment, give you a diagnosis and treat you as required.
Remember to always enjoy yourself when doing any form of a race/charity run. Never ignore any little pain as it may lead into a bad injury.