The 3 R's of Running Recovery | Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy

Do you enjoy running or walking?  Warm weather inspires many of us to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and the warmer weather. As you’re getting into your running routine, it is important to stop and remind ourselves of some basic but crucial things to make our running and walking fun. Here are some tips to make your running recovery quick and prepare your body for your next walk or run.

1. Refuel 

Your body works hard when running, burning around 100 calories per mile. It is important to restore some of the energy in order to build muscle and be ready for future workouts. My personal choice for post-run beverage is chocolate milk. Not only is it delicious, but the carb to protein ratio is exactly what your body needs to properly replenish and refuel. Beyond food, water is another key ingredient to a successful recovery. Especially as the weather gets warmer, be sure to take in at least 80 ounces of water each day to prevent dehydration.

2. Roll out

We all have muscles that fatigue with running. Rolling muscles out is a way to ensure the muscles are more relaxed and ready to work again. This process can take many forms. You can use a running stick or rolling pin to work through the muscles. An alternative to these is a foam roll. When rolling out, we want to work on areas that are tight and sore, or areas of the muscle that feel harder. For most runners, the front and back of the thigh as well as the calves will be the hot spots with this activity. This may be uncomfortable, but your muscles should feel better after rolling out. 

3. Rest

While staying active is crucial, so is rest. Rest allows our muscles and joints time to recover and reduce any inflammation that may have occurred during the run. It is also crucial to pace yourself when your begin running or increase your mileage. When you first return to running, using a “one day on/ one day off” schedule will help you see improvements and reduce risk of injury. If you aren’t giving your body what it needs to recover and rebuild, you increase your risk of overuse injury, forcing you to take the rest your body needs.

Use these running recovery tips to keep your body in shape throughout the running season. These may be simple, but remember the old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If we train well and refuel, roll out, and rest, this could be your best season yet. And as always, if you are having pain preventing you from getting back to running or from any activity you want to do, contact your movements specialist at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy.  We would love to help you out. Please give us a call at 866-588-0230 or request an appointment today!