Sunday, June 24, 2012


You did it!  You ran a difficult race. The summer heat was blazing and you pounded out those miles.

It’s the day after, and you are feeling…well – not so good.  

Never fear, there are some tips to get you back on track to feeling well!

As a Certified Running Coach and Sports Nutritionist, I see this all the time.  Runners prepare fairly well, but their recovery (post run/race) is next to nothing.

Recovery is more than the food you snack on at the race.  It’s at least the next 48 hours.  How you recovery is setting the tone for your next race.  The better you recover, the sooner you can be in training and be prepared for the next event.

Follow these steps for your current recovery and your next event:

  • Within 35 minutes post-race – hydrate and eat.  And be specific.  Lots of fruits and vegetables.  LEAN, clean meats & protein shakes.  Stay away from the fast-food, greasy & fried items.  Your stomach needs time to slow down.  Keep your alcohol to zero or a minimum for at least 12 hours after the race.  In addition, keep your dairy products to a minimum.  Kidney’s work harder to process dairy products.  This should also be your diet plan for the next 48 hours. 
  • HYDRATION:  Sports Drinks and water.  Be careful NOT to overdrink!  Your kidney’s needs time to process the liquids and OVER hydration can be just as deadly as under-hydrating.  I drink a bottle of water every 2 hours.  This allows your stomach and kidney’s to digest and process. 
USE YOUR URINE as your hydration guide: 
1.       If you are not peeing, DRINK! 
2.       If your urine is pale yellow like lemonade – perfect!
3.       If your urine is a bright yellow – drink more
4.       If your urine is DARK, like iced tea – drink LOTS more
5.       If your urine is CLEAR – stop drinking for at least an hour. 
  • For muscle relief:
·         Foam Rolling
·         Massages
·         Icing Joints
·         Heating ointments
·         Stretching
·         Power-walking
·         Compression gear
Use OTC pain meds, sparingly.  Again, your vital organs still need time to recoup from your run/race, even up to 48 hours afterwards.

Most importantly, pay attention to your body cues.  If you feel like you need to nap – do it. It’s your body’s way of telling you what it needs. 

Taking the next 48 hours to recovery will set you on the road to success for your next race.

Recovery is just as important as preparation.  Think of your recovery from this race to prepare you for the next race.

Congratulations on your racing accomplishment!

(Please feel free to share your post-recovery tips...)

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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