Health, Fitness + Wellness Articles Straight from the Source

Congratulations Missoula Marathon Runners! Here’s Some Race Recovery Tips

We’re so excited for all the full and half marathoners from our community this weekend. You worked hard and we hope you’re proud of your results.

We had first time runners crushing their goals and seasoned vets setting PR’s and BQing. Great work! You earned it!

Once you’ve past the 48 hour post-race window, you’ll want to focus on your recovery efforts so that you bounce back quickly and healthily. It can be tempting to “rest” all week, but that can keep you feeling limp and beat up longer than you’d like. Here’s some tips to help you bounce back quickly so you can get back to enjoying your runs and the trails.

  • Downregulate to Speed Up Recovery
    • Our body has an amazing system to help regulate our biological requirements to help with fight or flight modes, or rest and digest modes. This is called your autonomic system. We get more into this in this article here. But for the time being, you need to nurture your rest or digest mode. This can help with blood pressure, insulin response, sleep regulation, stress management, inflammation, and more. It’s an important skill to develop.
    • Here’s some great ways to help this process:
      • Go for a walk
      • Spend extra time with loved ones
      • Meditation & Breathwork
      • Hot baths
      • Massage
      • Sauna, compression sleeves, red light therapy (Go to CryoMethod!)
      • Time with pets
      • Get out in the woods
      • Enjoy good food
      • Focus on sleep schedule and ritual
      • Anything that helps you relax.
    • Quick note: A couple things that can be helpful in other contexts but may be counterproductive here would be any kind of cold immersion like cold plunges or quick HIIT workouts that can increase a stress response. This is akin to overspending on a credit card. There’s lots of context to use these methods, but not right now.
    • And, obviously, avoid alcohol and drug use. Your body desperately wants to get back to it’s normal and those vices will slow the process dramatically.
  • Increase Bloodflow & Start to Upregulate
    • Towards the middle of the week you should get back on your feet. Try to increase walking, and you can begin doing some easier aerobic workouts that are low impact such as cycling or swimming. Your muscles need to feed and increasing bloodflow will help with those processes and improve inflammation markers.
    • Other great options can include yoga, pilates, and stretching or foam rolling routines. Remember to keep up with sleep and fueling, your body is still healing.
    • For more advanced runners, we recommend a few brief “shake out” runs to keep everything feeling loose so you don’t get locked up. Do not work through pain. These should be short and feel easy. Be disciplined.
    • Try to avoid HIIT workouts, heavy lifting, or more intense cardio such as spin classes. Those can be implemented soon, but they could put you back in a hole if applied too soon.
  • Prepare Your Body To Get Back To Work
    • After 7-10 days (sooner for more advanced athletes), you can start to increase your work output. You can start to stoke your recovery fire by beginning to implement some workouts. We like High Performance Recovery Training workouts (Credit Joel Jamieson) or short burst conditioning workouts.
    • You can start getting back to resistance training and plyometrics, but keep your volume and intensity moderate to low. These workouts can also help you determine if some of your aches and pains are worse than you thought, in which case you should seek out a physical therapist before proceeding further.
    • Of course, you can also start to increase your running volume again. But all the same rules apply – Be disciplined with your mileage and volume and listen to your body.

Need Some Help?

That’s what we’re here for. Feeling a little more beat up than you expected and want some help honing your recovery process?

Simply respond to this email and we can get you back on track.

Already thinking about your next adventure?

LFG. Hit us up.

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