Recover & refresh before your next event

Recovery is the key to successful running. Whether you’re an elite or just getting started, like many of those who took part in the Mother’s Day Classic events around Australia on the weekend, we all need to recover from our exercise. This is especially true for all those participating in this weekend’s North Face 100 or other events such as the SMH half marathon in Sydney on Sunday.

  • Immediately after your race nutrition is key. Refuel and rehydrate. High protein foods will help with muscle repair and carbohydrate rich foods replace the body’s energy stores (it’s my perfect excuse for a chocolate milkshake). But if milk isn’t to your liking be sure to continue to take in fluids. Electrolyte sports drinks are ideal but water & fruit are also good.
  • Of course avoid alcohol post race as this will increase micro swelling and also detract from your re hydration efforts. While its definitely nice to celebrate all the hard work, a finish-line guzzle isn’t going to do you any favours for the recovery & next event.
  • Sleep! With extra exercise the body needs time to repair so allow some down time and plenty of quality hours sleep. massage
  • Compression garments have been shown to be most effective in aiding recovery by limiting swelling and reducing muscle soreness. They are best when worn for several hours so ditch the PJ’s & slip a pair of compression tights on before bed.
  • Active recovery options in the days after the race can be great to promote blood flow to sore muscles & help recovery. Water running or a scenic walk with friends & family (even on the sand) are great to help you get moving again.


While it’s not as simple as hitting ‘control-alt-delete’ there are still some great ways to restart or freshen up the body & get ready for the next chapter or challenge.

  • Spend a week or 2 in recovery mode. Reduce your running volume and concentrate on strength exercises, especially any weak points (eg core, calves, gluts etc). If you don’t like to reduce your weekly exercise in recovery mode; cycle, swim or row for great non weight-bearing cardio exercise.
  • Book a massage and iron out the wrinkles. Racing and recent training will almost certainly lead to a few knots & kinks.
  • Self Myofascial Release (SMR) or foam rolling is another great way to massage tight & tired muscles and connective tissue.
  • Do a Yoga class instead of one of your weekly runs. Great for strength & flexibility!
  • Plan your next big challenge. Sit back with your favourite running magazine or get online & check out the Banzai event calendar.


Now with all this considered don’t forget to celebrate all your hard work. Lunch out with friends, a new running jacket for winter or an indulgent massage could be a few great ways to give yourself a pat on the back.

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