Running a half marathon is no easy task. It takes a lot of training, prep & dedication to get across that finish line. Whether it was your 1st or 50th half marathon, a good race or a bad race, the fact that you crossed the finish line is a huge deal! Congratulations are in order and now it is time to start RECOVERY! Here are 5 tips that have helped me recover after each of the half marathons I have run.
5 Tips to Recover from a Half Marathon
1. Compression Gear
If you own any compression gear, now is the time to wear it! Compression tights or socks are great for training in, but they are also excellent for recovery. Compression gear increases the blood flow to your muscles, eliminating soreness and helping you recover faster. I love to wear compression tights post race as they take care of all the leg muscles, but compression socks are helpful as well.
My favorite compression brand: 2XU. You can read more here.
Drink water like it is your JOB! Hopefully you were hydrating before the race, and it is just as important to keep up the hydration after. Plain water works, but I recommend a combination of plain water and an electrolyte drink. You sweat out a lot and you need to replace those electrolytes. Many sports drinks are full or sugar and unnecessary ingredients so you want to be careful which one you choose. Look for one that has no sugar & no artificial ingredients.
My favorite is Ultima Replenisher. It’s tasty, has nothing artificial & no sugar. It is really low calorie too, so you don’t have to feel bad about drinking it. It has gotten me thru countless races and training runs. To learn more about Ultima & why you should really consider training with it, click here.
My favorite electrolyte drink: Ultima Replenisher. Use the code below for 35% off. This is not an affiliate code, it’s a discount I get to pass on to you!
3. Foam Roll
If you are not familiar with foam rolling, a foam roller is ” a tool used by runners and athletes to target overworked muscles”. If uses a technique called myofascial release. Essentially, this helps eliminate muscle pain by applying gentle & sustained pressure to the muscles when rolling over them. Foam rolling is not always fun because it’s uncomfortable, but the benefits are amazing. The discomfort you feel while rolling helps you feel much better later.
For tips on how to use a foam roller, check out this great article from Runner’s World.
My favorite foam roller: Trigger Point GRID – available in 3 sizes
Seems obvious, but you would not believe the amount of people who don’t stretch! This will help get reduce any soreness and stiffness that you have. It is best to stretch once your muscles are warm, so walk around bit before stretching.
Another great option is to take a Yin or Hatha yoga class a few days after the race. Yin and Hatha yoga are slower, more gentle forms of yoga and will give your whole body a great stretch.
It doesn’t matter if you were running, walking or crawling, you crossed the finish line! Make sure you celebrate!!!
You can reward yourself/celebrate in any way that you see fit. It could be a massage, a trip to the mall, a night out with friends, a day off work… the list could go on and on! Take time to celebrate your accomplishment because like I mentioned earlier, no matter how the race went for you, you did NOT give up & that is worth celebrating.
Read about what I did after my first half marathon.
bonus tip: review your race on bibrave.com ! BibRave is the perfect place to share your race experience. You can find and write race reviews there & revel in your accomplishment even more!
Congrats again on completing 13.1 miles. Cheers to recovery & to running more miles!!
Let’s chat: what races do you have planned? What is your favorite recovery technique?