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The Austin sports medicine doctors at Medicine in Motion know firsthand what a marathon or long race can do to the body, so they've compiled a list of tips for post-race recovery.
Austin, Texas (PRWEB) February 05, 2013
The months of training are over. The race has come and gone. No matter if runners come in first or last, their bodies will probably feel like they were put through the wringer after the big event. Read on for something healthy hints from the Austin sports medicine doctors at Medicine in Motion on how to treat the body and mind after a long run:
1. Don’t sit. Walk around for a few minutes to bring the heart rate down slowly and to avoid the risk of blood pooling in the legs.
2. Dry clothes. Once the body starts to slow down, those wet running clothes will start to feel uncomfortable and maybe give the chills. Change into something warm and soft. Also put on another pair of shoes that provide plenty of support.
3. Assess your pain levels. If in a lot of pain or just not feeling quite right, head to the medical tent immediately.
4. Drink. A combination of water and sports drinks will help replenish lost fluids, sodium and electrolytes.
5. Eat carbohydrates and proteins. Muscles need help repairing themselves after an intense run. A 3 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein can do the most good within 30 minutes after the event. The right balance of food can also help minimize sore muscles and stiffness.
6. Stretch. After a run, muscles are still warm and flexible – there’s no better time for a stretch … just don’t overdo it!
7. Avoid ibuprofen. Don’t take anti-inflammatories immediately after the race – if not well hydrated, they could damage the kidneys. Wait a few hours until the water has had a chance to rehydrate your system.
8. Ice packs/ice bath. An ice bath is an ideal way to reduce inflammation after a long run. If that doesn’t sound appealing, opt for ice packs on the spots that are the sorest.
9. Cross-train. A runner’s body may not be prepared to run for awhile after a race, but most athletes want to keep moving. Try a low-impact sport like swimming or walking to keep up fitness while allowing the running muscles some healing time.
10. Get a massage. For muscle relief, visit a massage therapist. But wait a day or two after the race while the body starts the hard work of repairing itself from the run.
11. Use a foam roller. If a runner doesn’t want to or can’t see a massage therapist, a foam roller is a great alternative to massage tight spots on their own. Again, it’s best to wait a couple of days after the race so as not to create additional soreness for the body to deal with.
12. Rest. Sleep is essential for the recovery process. A runner may sleep a lot after a big race, but that’s perfectly normal. Remember to listen to the body and follow its lead.
13. Be proud. A pat on the back is highly recommended. Take pride in the amazing accomplishment. Runners train their bodies to their limits, so crossing the finish line is a very big deal.
14. Deal with emotions. Mild post-run depression often occurs among long distance runners. The body’s endorphins will take a hit after the race, so racers may find themselves coming down from a runner’s high. Find a new goal to focus on – whether it’s another race or a completely new challenge.
15. Reflect. If you plan to race again, it’s important to think back on the race and the training that led up to it. What worked well? What should be done differently next time?
Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine healthcare in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The doctors at MIM believe active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office's goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at http://www.medinmotion.com.
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