Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Favorite Things to Do After A Race

Many of you finished your first race today....CONGRATS!! After weeks of training, today was the day that was all worth it right? That feeling of accomplishment is pretty amazing.  The thing I don't really care for though is when your body starts to slowly hurt and pretty soon you are walking like you have a stick up your a**.  So now I treat myself for all my hard work. Here are a list of my favorite things to do after a race:

  • Drink a beer: I don't drink that much anymore. And when I am deep into my training I completely steer away from it. But for some reason I start salivating over a nice cold beer during my races. It's the strangest feeling but having a nice cold beer at the end of the race just makes my day! Now many races have a beer garden at the finish line. Obviously your body is dehydrated after your race so drink with caution.

  • Ice bath: When I first started racing I would do this after all my races. It is definitely a love/hate relationship. It is complete torture having your legs submerged in ice cold water but afterwards your legs feel so much better. It helps reduce inflammation and tissue breakdown. Icing alone doesn't get deep down to all your major muscle groups. I know some runners jump into the ocean after a race and that works just as well.  The most my body could ever last was 10 minutes.  I have a feeling that this upcoming race season I will be doing this more frequently (even with long runs).

  • Pedicure: I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. After race day I usually do this and it feels marvelous. It also happens to be when I see which nails (if any) will be falling off. Yes this happens to all runners at one point or another. I always have nail polish on so when I go and get a pedicure it's when I can see which nails are black and lifting. The best part though is the foot massage!

  • Massage: I look forward to this after every single race. I even schedule this weeks in advance. I like to go the day after my race but I have gotten small 15 minute massages that are offered at many race finish lines.  It reduces muscle soreness, increases joint range of motion, improves connective tissue healing, and improves circulation.  Even when I get a deep tissue massage, I still feel wonderful afterwards. I pretty much just sleep when I get my massage done.

  • Eat a delicious meal: I typically go with whatever I am craving for my first post race meal.  Regardless of what I pick this meal never fails me. I mean you burn so many calories while running so I think it's justified eating whatever your heart desires. 

  • Take a day off:  I am lucky that my work schedule varies since I self-schedule. This helps when taking the day after any race off. This day is my full recovery day. I like to ice any areas that are still hurting, relax, catch up on my books, and stretch. Stretching is really important but I really just enjoy lounging on the couch and watching some Netflix.

What are your favorite things to do after a race?

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  1. After a race, I definitely enjoy the post-run guilt free couch lounging for the afternoon. After a big meal of whatever I feel like, and before a massage. Yep, that sounds about perfect :)

  2. I've never ran a race before but I've been thinking about it quite a bit recently. I will say though there is nothing I love more than coming home for a long run and spending a relaxing hour eating a healthy snack and watching a favorite show.

  3. Post run nap.

    A lot of times I've done races early in the morning, and my boyfriend is the ultimate sleeper. A quick shower, and getting back in bed after a run is seriously wonderful.