Post-Race Recovery Essentials

HAlf Marathon-3Disclosure: Some products linked below are affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase on Amazon using my link. 

Wednesday I shared my training and racing gear essentials for a half marathon. While it is very important to have the best gear for YOU during a run, it is also helpful to have tools that help aid in your recovery.  When you recover better, you run better.

Here are some of my favorites:

1) Foam roller – Ahh.. the tool that has produced more love/hate relationships than any other!  I use my foam roller daily – to do everything from roll out my legs to popping my back.  There are so many different ways you can use a foam roller – just search Youtube for some exercises! Here is a very good bundle deal on two foam rollers with a How-To book, and here is a very budget friendly option.

2) Stick roller – This is the best thing to have if you are traveling to race or run.  These provide good on-the-go massage to help work out kinks and loosen up tight muscles.  My favorite is the Tiger Tail – it comes in classic 18″ length and a compact 8″ length

3) Recovery Fuel – Within 30 minutes of finishing your run, you should be refueling your body with both carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates aid in replenishing your glycogen stores, while protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth. I like to drink a protein shake like this one from Vega, and also eat some toast or a banana. I have found that if I refuel quickly after a run, I am not seeking to eat all day long (as much!) and my cravings are not for unhealthy things.You should also be replenishing your electrolytes, especially if you haven’t been drinking something on the run.

4) Compression socks – you either love them or you hate them.  I, personally, find that they help me with post-run soreness and help with circulation.  PRO Compression provides professional level products in a vide variety of colors and prints.

5) Ice Wrap – I got one of these Dr. Cool Ice Wraps a few years ago and it has been one of the best tools for post running soreness and injury.  The thought of an ice bath scares me to death, but using one of these wraps is much easier (especially when you have a toddler you have to attend to and don’t have time to sit in a bath!). Simply get this wrap wet, stick it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, and wrap it around your ankle, calf, knee, wrist… wherever you need relief! This baby is wonderful for shin splints.

These next two are more comfort items than recovery essentials – I don’t know about you, but I really like to clean up quick when I can after running.

6) Shower wipes – I have often done a race and needed to head straight to somewhere where people would not appreciate my sweaty (smelly!) self.  Shower wipes are a great way to clean up when you don’t have access to a shower.  I have used DUDE wipes after several races recently and gone straight to church, none the wiser that minutes before I was smelly and covered in sweat! They come individually packaged, so you can conveniently throw one or two in your race bag and head on your way

7) Dry shampoo – When I’m racing and I know I need to go somewhere immediately after, I will put my hair in a spiral bun to minimize sweat.  Dry shampoo helps absorb extra moisture and also takes away any odor.  My favorite is Not Your Mothers Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo – here is a very affordable twin pack! 

Overall, post-run recovery is all about healing your body so that you can run again.  Is there something you use that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

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