Miss Joe Joe Fan – Hong Kong Marathon Team Representative
A long run takes a lot of energy, minerals and water from your body. If you don’t replenish your body quickly after training it will then take longer to recover. Here are a few suggestions you might try next time after a long run:
Remember to refuel with around 500-750ml high protein fluid within 15 minutes after a long run. It could be chocolate milk with fruits (bananas, strawberries, grapes, etc) or you can get some high protein recovery powder in the market then mix one serving with water for quick results. Such recovery drinks usually provide sufficient protein to speed up muscle recovery and enough carbohydrates for the next 30-60 minutes before you can settle down for a proper meal. After the recovery drink, make sure you also take 500ml-1L of water.
While chatting/sharing your hard work with friends after a run, don’t forget to do some light stretches. The stretches should focus on hips, calves, hamstrings, ITB (iliotibial band) or anywhere you feel sore or tight. Relaxed muscles can help avoid injuries and speed up metabolic waste disposal.
Post-run ice baths help recovery and it is a common practice among top athletes as part of recovery and injury prevention. It might sound unfeasible to take an ice bath immediately after a run when you plan to join your training partners afterwards, but if you go straight home after your long run, do try the ice bath which I have introduced before: http://www.hkmarathon.com/Training/Training_Tips/My_good_friend___ICE_s4_p17198.htm
Treat yourself well after a hard run. A well balanced meal (containing the appropriate amounts of carbohydrate, protein, fruits and vegetables) within an hour after your long run is very important. A buffet is perfect as it will normally have all you require for you to choose from, that’s what I usually have after a hard run.
Sleeps / Massages
I call it a "power nap", be it a 10-minute doze on bus/MTR or a luxury 45 minutes of sleep on a comfy bed. A Short sleep could bring you complete refreshment and the effect will be even better if it goes with a massage – a massage after a hard session could be pretty painful, so it really depends on whether you can stand it.