You’ve finished the race (and kudos for that!), now it’s time to help your body recover properly. If you’re one of the thousands here in town who participated in the weekend’s 3M Half Marathon, chances are you’re a little sore and achey, and your strained muscles may need some TLC.
Whether that was your first and last half-marathon, or you are already gearing up for your next one, here are five tips to help your body recover after a long-distance race:
- Keep walking.
Walking moderate distances at a natural pace for a few days following a long-race is a good idea. Jumping right back into strenuous, lengthy runs can be damaging to already taxed and tired muscles.
- Refuel and rehydrate.
Drink plenty of fluids in the days following your race, such as water and sugar-free sports drinks. Also plan on packing your next few meals with proteins and healthy carbs to replenish all the calories lost.
- Ice, ice, baby.
Apply cold compresses or ice packs to sore muscles and joints over the next few days to reduce any inflammation and swelling.
- Stretch it out.
Light stretching after a long race will help soothe muscles and keep them active and engaged without overworking them. Complete inactivity after heavy physical activity could leave muscles feeling tight and cramped.
- Look into PRP therapy.
Consider PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy/injections to relieve pain and stimulate healing of the muscle cells. That’s when doctors extract growth factors from your own blood, process the blood, and then the platelet rich fraction is injected into the injured site. It’s particularly helpful for those with chronic hamstring issues, Achilles tendon tears, tendonitis or other overuse injuries.
To schedule an appointment with one of our PM&R specialists (physical medicine and rehabilitation) or sports injury doctors for PRP therapy to address any orthopedic injuries following your race, please contact us at (512) 439-1000 or schedule an online appointment here.