About two and a half thousand of us will be waking up on Monday morning feeling more sluggish than normal having run the Shrewsbury Marathon or Half Marathon on Sunday 23rd June. This is my first half marathon and having spoken to runners who have experienced the atmosphere before, it enables the runner to push harder towards that finishing line. However, the adrenaline rush also means that some people are pushing themselves too hard and not listening to their body’s natural resistance.
Here are my top tips for a safe and effective wind-down after the race:
Don’t Stop Moving: Keep gently mobile, e.g. regular walking for 5-10 minutes. It is the last thing you feel like doing but remaining static should be avoided at all costs. Make sure you stretch (legs, neck, back, shoulders and arms!) within 20 minutes of finishing and stretch daily for the week following the event.
Ice, Ice, Baby: For specific injuries such as problems with joints, applying ice is recommended. This is most effective when done immediately but still works when applied in the days following the race. Soak your legs in cold water (or an ice bath for some of you braver souls) to reduce inflammation.
Food For Thought: Snack regularly on food, ideally that is high carbohydrate, low fat, some protein, (e.g. tuna sandwich) and drink lots of fluids. After finishing, refrain from drinking alcohol until fully rehydrated. Although, I have already booked my table at the Boathouse for a well earned pint of Butty Bach.
I haven’t decided yet whether this is a ‘one-off’ race for me, as I have only been running for four months. But I am thoroughly enjoying it. The trick really does seem to be to get your training programme right. Perhaps this is something to discuss in a future blog.
Chiropractic treatment is one way that many runners use to monitor progress as they train, as this way no ‘niggle’ is left to develop into a more serious injury.