Tip #16: 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 Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

With so much emphasis on training and preparing for the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, it’s easy to forget about what to do AFTER you cross the finish line. That’s why today’s tip features pointers from Dr. Darrin Bright to ensure that you keep feeling good after that runner’s high fades.

 Tip 16 - Dr Darrin Bright

  • After finishing, continue walking through the finish chute and in Celebration Village for five to 10 minutes. During the race your legs needed 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 and your blood pressure will drop, resulting in possible fainting, lightheadedness or cramping.
  • After finishing, start re-rehydrating and resume eating. 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. It also is important to eat something as soon as you can. Research shows that muscle glycogen is replaced twice as rapidly in the first hour following the race. There will be food high in carbohydrates in the finish area, or pack your own in your Gear Check bag.
  • Feeling a little sore? Try an ice bath. Research shows that an ice bath after a race can help with DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) aka the “marathon shuffle.” Fill the tub with cold water and pour in a 10-pound bag of ice.       Take the ice bath for 10 minutes.
  • Rest – You deserve it! Try taking a nap later in the day.       Avoid running for the first 7-10 days during your recovery. This can help to prevent injury and ensure a safer return to running.
  • If you have an injury that lasts for three or more days after the race please consult a physician.
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