Race Recovery for the Holiday Weekend Warrior

Tis the season to do holiday races!! One great thing about us PNW-ers is that we accept the inevitable rainy weather and soldier on anyway. Five K’s, mud runs, and polar swims abound. If you’re a seasoned vet who competes all year long, you probably have a routine for your pre-, during, and post-race. For those of us holiday warriors jumping in to help raise money for the cause (and hot chocolate), we may not be in tune with the up-to-date race recovery strategies. Or are even aware that we need them.

That means you! The one who swears they’re NOT a runner, you’re just running this once. Even if you only walk the race, that’s fine, your still a participating body for the cause. But if you don’t usually walk 3.2 miles every week, you may be subject to soreness, aches, and pains, or injury if you don’t recover well after the run. You might not even notice symptoms until a couple of days later. The good news is that this can all be prevented with just a little work on race day.

Pre-Race:

  • Warm up! It’s easy to think you can just bounce out of bed and get running, that’s a rookie mistake. Especially if you’re running first thing in the morning, you need to get some juices flowing. Park far away and walk the 3-5 blocks to the race, that’s an easy way to warm up without wasting more time. Other options include:
    • 15 minutes on a stationary bike
    • 2 minutes of burpees and squats/lunges
    • A short 10-minute jog at a slow pace
  • Fuel before. Eat a good breakfast, whether you’re running or walking. If running, make sure not to eat something that will upset your stomach. If walking, just something hearty that won’t weigh you down. Oatmeal, chia seeds, fruit, milk (cow or other), eggs, and yogurt are all good choices.
  • Hydrate. Start 2 days before, you won’t need to take as many water breaks (or pee breaks) if you hydrate the days before instead of during.
  • Get some electrolytes afterward. Especially if you’re walking, it’s better to replace those electrolytes after the race instead of during. Less than an hour of running doesn’t require fuel during the race (as long as you fueled and hydrated before).

Post-Race:

  • Stretch! It’s best done after the race. The basics are good here: quads, hamstrings, groin, calves, low back. This will decrease any soreness later and release any excess tension you’ve built up over the last 3+ miles.
  • Epsom salt bath. Its old school comes to new school again. The magnesium helps our muscles recover and reboots our system. Feeling run down or sick? A hot Epsom salt bath is just what the doctor ordered.
  • Eat well. Get a good recovery meal. Again, even if you’re walking. Good nutrients with veggies, protein, and quality carbs. A well-rounded meal is the best way to go.
  • Work out again soon. The best exercise recovery is the opposite type. That would mean doing some easy resistance training. Simple free weights or body weight movements will work: push ups, sit ups, squats, lunges, etc.

Comments

Dr. Annie’s Top 4 Tips to Reduce Inflammation

January 30, 2019

Acute inflammation is your body’s natural immune response to tissue damage. When you fall down and cut your knee, the cut swells, reddens become inflamed. These are all good signs that your immune system is busy at work sending white blood cells to the site of your injury to repair the tissue. In this situation, inflammation…

Read More

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!

January 11, 2019

Big Announcement! (A Message from Dr. Annie) One of the best Christmas presents I received this year was an email from my old friend and colleague, Said Yaaqoub LMT.  I had first met Said when I opened my practice in 2005.  At that time he was working for Krueger Orthopedics providing all of their soft…

Read More

Happy New Year! Let’s Make 2019 Amazing Together

December 29, 2018

Happy New Year! (A Message from Dr. Annie) 2018 has been an amazing year.  First, we feel deep gratitude that we’ve been able to help transform so many lives this year. It’s an awesome and humbling responsibility to be trusted with your healthcare and we’ve loved being your manual therapy solution. Plus, it’s been wonderful…

Read More

The #1 Weakness Most People Don’t Realize They Have…

October 25, 2018

It’s easy to get caught up in the latest exercise or workout routine to turn you into your ideal you – sculpted shoulders and biceps, slim waist and hips, but there’s something more basic and frankly more important to pay attention to. The best thinkers in the field of manual medicine, embrace and promote the…

Read More

Growing Pains – A Childhood Myth or a Reality?

October 10, 2018

Your kid says his knee hurts, or his ankle hurts, or maybe his hip… But you can’t remember anything happening to him.  He looks fine, you don’t see any cuts or swelling.  Should you take him seriously?   Does he really have a knee problem or does he just want to get out of practice?  And…

Read More

Dr. Annie’s Top 10 Health Tips

September 27, 2018

Here are my favorite tips for being healthier and more vital every day. I hope you enjoy them! 1. Skin is a reflection of your overall internal health Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have radiant glowing skin? Have you felt they must have make up talents or know a skin care…

Read More