So you've finally finished the race. What does one do after? As for me, of course I first get the finishers' entitlement (medal, shirt, loot bag, etc.), then sit with my friends while waiting for the others to finish. Then we would usually grab a bit for that well-deserved recovery meal.
- Walk around for 10 to 15 minutes to allow your body to come back to reality. “It helps your body to purge that lactic acid and recover, as well as bring your circulation back to normal,” Hadfield says.
- Have a protein recovery drink and nibble on some food. “Within the first half hour, you want to eat a snack of 300 calories that is mostly simple carbohydrates, because that will help to reload the muscle glycogen,” Galloway recommends. “It's best to pick something that is going to digest very easily. Even things like gummy bears or cola drinks will often work.”
- Sit in an ice bath for five minutes with your sweatshirt on to help with inflammation.
- Wait three to four hours before getting a massage, if you decide to get one post-race (otherwise, your massage therapist will be rubbing the lactic acid all over muscles, making you feel worse).
- Treat yourself! “Go out for a greasy hamburger, go for a beer,” Fitzgerald says. “None of this is going to help you recover faster, but who cares? There's a time to let your hair down a bit, and just give yourself time to recuperate. If you do everything right after the marathon, you're still not going to be able to run one for another four months. Have the burger.”
I think I only got the last bit correctly. In fact, I think I treat myself too much by over-indulging after the race. Hahaha.
Anyway, I hope this helps especially for those newbie runners.