You did it! You committed to training for the big race. We all know that the training is the hardest part of any race and the commitment to those weekend runs, that just get longer and longer, is where real runners are made.
But now that you are running those longer runs consistently, you are probably starting to really feel them. That full-body soreness and complete exhaustion from pushing your body past where it thought it couldn’t go are what we love about the sport right? We’ve been there, we get it, and the Charlotte Marathon Ambassadors have got some tips on how to treat yourself and “treat yourself” after you finish those really tough long runs.
- Hydration and Refueling – If you do nothing else in this entire article, Rehydrate and Refuel. Even if you feel great after your run your body is running on adrenaline and good vibes and those will quickly start to fade if you don’t start intaking some calories and hydrating liquids!
- Stretching – Your muscles have been through a lot today. Whether this was your first time running the distance or you are used to it, stretching them after is crucial if you want to recover faster and continue performing at your peak. The Ambassadors are partial to adding foam rolling and the percussive massage guns to the mix.
- Shower/ Change Clothes – This one probably doesn’t need much explanation, but just in case, we decided to leave it in. And hygienically speaking, getting out of those wet clothes can limit the time moisture-loving bacteria and fungi have to set up shop.
- First Aid – With all of the adrenaline and good vibes we mentioned earlier, it might be easier than you think to ignore any injuries or issues that have popped up as a result of your long run. Take a quick once over of any injury-prone areas.
Let’s take the recovery to the next level with technology specifically designed to help you recover faster so you can train harder. You may not need these options if you are a more casual runner, but regardless of where you are in your running journey you can benefit from them.
- Compression Calf Sleeves and Socks – These tighter-than-average socks and sleeves provide all-over support for tired muscles. Unlike regular socks, compression stockings, sleeves, or socks use stronger elastics to create significant pressure on the legs, ankles, and feet to speed recovery.
- Massage Guns – Battery-operated or rechargeable massage “guns” are handheld devices that use vibration or percussion to massage irritated muscles. They’re great for use on large, bulky muscle groups, like your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calf, and upper trap muscles.
- Cryotherapy – Ambassador Bekah Eljoundi swears by the cryo tank. If you can handle the cold, this is a great way to relieve pain and swelling after a particularly hard run. Not to mention it is a very quick way to cool off!
- Pneumatic Compression Boots – Intermittent pneumatic compression boots use cuffs around the legs that fill with air and squeeze your legs. This increases blood flow through the veins of your legs and helps prevent blood clots. Totally worth it.
Some of us may need to be alone after a long run but others, especially those that like to do their long runs with a club or group might socialize as part of their recovery. We all know that carbs taste better when we eat them together! And of course you have to let all of your social media followers know that you are still on your training schedule.
- Brunch – Brunch is always a good idea, but going to brunch with your running partners can also benefit your training. Having a post run brunch with your training partners ensures that you begin your refueling earlier and also have time to debrief on the finer points of the run while they are still fresh in your mind. Ambassador Lissa Nypaver says, “Brunch is life after a long run.”
- Social Media – We all know that social media can have its problems, especially when it comes to comparing your life or workouts with those of the people you follow. But it can also be used as a source of inspiration and support. A great digital community will hold you accountable and encourage you to keep reaching your goals! Ambassador Marty Flores says that it is kind of like you didn’t go running if you don’t share it on social media. 😉
Feeling a Sense of Accomplishment for the Rest of the Weekend
Probably the most important “treat” you can give yourself is the well-deserved acknowledgment that you went out there and did your long run. It may not have been your best long run ever, but you, yes YOU, decided to go do a long run instead of pushing it back to tomorrow, or next week. Congratulations, you deserve to tell people all about it at work on Monday too!
You are training to reach your goals and the long run is a big part of that training, one of the most essential parts actually! Just finishing those runs is a big accomplishment and with any luck, this article has given you a few ideas on how to treat yourself and “treat yourself” after a long run.