Tip #14: Post-Race Recovery Tips from Dr. Darrin Bright

As we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’ll be sharing “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Tip 14 - RecoveryOnly 17 days remain until the 2013 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. You’ve spent months preparing your body for the race, so now the questions is: What should you do once you cross the Finish Line to ensure you keep feeling good after you’re done? 

Today’s tip comes from our race doctor, Dr. Darrin Bright: Remember to move, snack and snooze if you want to feel great after the race. Here are Dr. Bright’s tips:

Keep your legs moving

After completing the race it is important to keep the legs moving. This can be accomplished by walking around the finish area past the Finish Line for 5-10 minutes or getting a massage in Celebration Village post race. During the race your legs required a significant amount of blood flow to supply the exercising muscles with fuel. If you stop suddenly or lay down, the blood will pool in your legs causing your blood pressure to drop resulting in possible fainting, lightheadedness or cramping. 

Refuel with fluids and food

Once you have completed the race it is important to begin rehydrating. Gatorade and water will be available at the Finish Line. In addition to combating dehydration, Gatorade contains carbohydrates and electrolytes that are important to replenish following the race. You’ll also want to eat something as soon as you can. Research has shown that muscle glycogen is replaced twice as rapidly in the first hour following the race. There will be plenty of foods high in carbohydrates around the finish area. Please take advantage of these foods to begin replenishing your energy stores. 

Take a break and take a nap

In the days after the race, take a rest – you deserve it! Try taking a nap later in the day and avoid running for the first 7-10 days during your recovery. This can help to prevent injuries and ensure a safer return to running. If you have an injury that persists for 3-4 days following the race, you should consult your physician.

Have any questions about post-race recovery? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

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