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Learn how to recover fast from long races and skip the weeks of aches and pains
Post race recovery begins the minute you cross the finish line. Sure, you’ll recover post-race regardless of what you do, but did you know there is a short window of opportunity to affect the speed at which this happens? And the faster you recover, the sooner you’ll get back into your running program. Follow this Step-by-Step Guide post race and you’ll be well on your way to a speedy recovery.
Cross the finish line with a smile on your face (even if you don’t feel happy), get your photo taken, your medal and keep walking for at least 10 minutes to allow your body to gradually return to its normal resting state. Stopping abruptly at the finish shocks the system and encourages muscle lock-up, blood pooling in your legs and dizziness.
2. Eat within 30-minutes of finishing the race.
Refuel depleted muscles as soon as possible with a meal that includes a 3-4:1 ratio of carbohydrates-to-protein and sodium as well. Studies have shown that fuel is most readily absorbed in the muscles in the first 30 to 45 minutes post-race. Pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana or a recovery sports drink in your gear bag. A good ole can of V-8 or chocolate milk works well too.
3. Pack Moji to Go in your gear bag and wear a Moji while you cool down.
It is a convenient, easy-to-use strategy for decreasing post-race inflammation and aches and pains around your knees.
4. Reward yourself, massage with a MojiHeat Heated Massage Ball or MojiHeat Heated Roller.
But wait at least two hours post race, as massaging too soon after finishing can create more soreness. Self-massage can have a dramatic effect on post-race recovery times, and they are a wonderful way to celebrate your achievement.
5. Sip fluids throughout the day to replenish fluid losses.
Monitor your urine for adequate hydration levels. If your urine is pale yellow like lemonade, you’re most likely back to normal hydration levels. If it runs dark, continue to hydrate. If it is clear, hold off on fluids as you may be over hydrating. Continue to replenish fuel and electrolytes (sodium, potassium) by eating small, frequent meals throughout the day.
6. Take some time off running.
Actively rest with lower impact activities like swimming, cycling and yoga for 5-7 days post-race. Give your body and mind a week off the demands of a structured long distance training program, and it will reward you with an efficient recovery. Running too much, too soon post-marathon is the quickest way to an injury. It can take about
7. Follow a reverse taper for 3-4 weeks.
Depending on how hard you raced, your age, and your training, it can take anywhere from 3-4 weeks to full recovery post marathon. Gradually return to running with a few short and easy runs 6-10 days post marathon to test the waters. If things feel good, gradually increase the duration and frequency and listen to your body along the way. If it talks to you with aches and pains, take a few more days to cross-train.
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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: