How To Recover: A Guide To Optimal Recovery After Strenuous Runs

Recovery after long runs and strenuous sessions is critical. Many runners are aware of this. But what do you have to pay attention to, and how do I recover optimally? Our editor Anna has her guide here for you: by a runner for runners. Concrete legs, every step reminds you of the fast 10k you ran yesterday. You are seriously considering whether to tape your eyelids to your forehead with scotch tape.

This tiredness. Off. Why is this sport so exhausting?

Yes, there is no magic trick that can magic away sore muscles and post-workout exhaustion. But you can speed up recovery. At least that is my experience. Therefore, here is my guide to recovery after strenuous workouts – by a runner for runners. The cool-down routine thing is: you don’t start running in your target space either, but allow yourself a little time to warm up. Similarly, it would help if you did the same with the end of a run.

So don’t stop abruptly after the 10km. It is better to have a cool-down routine. It should suit you and cater to your needs. For example, it helps me to run a little further. But relaxed and without pressure. Shake off your legs, so to speak, give the body the signal: goal achieved. Afterward, I like to have a short stabilization session. Works wonders. Promised.

Roll It Out

There are many unnecessary training tools out there. The facia role is not one of them. After a strenuous session, the foam roller acts as a fountain of energy. It stretches and loosens tense muscles. Three to five minutes work as a massage, and that’s precisely how I frame the whole thing: as something good that I treat myself to, like a massage. Try it out!

Loosen Your Legs

For example, a walk with the dog or a swim in the lake – no performance, just exercise. This is good for your head and for your tense legs, which enjoy this kind of relaxation.

Alternating Baths For Relaxation

Anyone who has severe tension in their legs probably already knows them. If you’ve never heard of alternate baths, let me tell you: GREAT! For real. Shower your legs in the shower for 30 seconds with cold water, and then rinse off with warm water for 30 seconds. Repeat, et voilà, you already have your little rollercoaster. This stimulates blood circulation and thus accelerates recovery. But watch out: Anyone who has circulatory problems should clarify this beforehand with their doctor.

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Is there anything better than sleep? Nothing for me. So this point is my favorite part about recovery. Oh, sleep. We should all do that a little more. And especially when it comes to recreation: if you don’t sleep eight hours, you can save yourself training. So get yourself some sleep! As long and as much as you need. Because the body can regenerate best in phases of deep sleep, incidentally, this is also known as a “biohack.”

Charge Energy Storage Properly

After the strenuous session, a delicious pack of popcorn and then a bar of nut nougat chocolate afterward? The whole thing is washed down, of course, with an ice-cold cola. If you’re serious about your recovery, you’d better leave it alone. Your body needs nutrients. You won’t find them in fast food and snacks—instead, my recommendation: a mix of proteins, carbs, and vitamins. For example, delicious spinach pasta with feta. Hmmm.

Drink Water

By the way, you should not only drink water after training but just before training. Because when we run, we sweat, and the water loss should then be compensated for. This is also important for regeneration. As a rule, our feeling of thirst gives us a helping hand. With extended exertion, however, this can sometimes fail.

It is therefore essential to take countermeasures here and to be aware that water should be supplied. But be careful! Too much water can also be counterproductive and flush nutrients out of the body – this is something to watch out for when running particularly long runs on hot days. Here we come to the next point: electrolytes.

Electrolytes Out

It would help if you allowed your body to do this during, particularly strenuous units. Not only will you feel better quickly, but you will also recover more quickly. Those who supply electrolytes through sports drinks during or before the run can look forward to increased endurance.

If you have no desire to buy strange powders and effervescent tablets, you can conjure up electrolytes yourself. Mix 1/4 liter of apple juice, mineral water, one teaspoon of salt, and two tablespoons of grape or regular sugar in a bottle. Your electrolyte brew, brand Self-Made, is ready.

Chill For A While

The last and perhaps most important point: Do something other than sport. How about reading a book? Start a TikTok channel? Finally, start making pottery? Or start your singing career? Playing computer games again? Anything that gives you a clear head – do it! That is the best recovery strategy.

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