Monday, March 21, 2011

EricG's Running Tips #12 Post Run Care

What we do after our run is just as important as what we do during.  I am not going to get in to the science of it all because I actually don't know what the hell I am talking about and no matter how many times I try to read about the subject it overwhelms and bores me to no end.  Plus the only thing I care about is if it works, not neccesssarily how (I'm shallow like that).  What I do know, the pieces I have taking from some of the reading I did years ago in Advanced Marathoning and Ultramarathon Man work for me.  Here is the 3/4 step Post Run Care routine that works for me.

STRETCH/ROLL: Stretching and rolling not only makes me feel better post run/workout, it also reduces certain issues I have had, particularly IT trouble.  I stretch for 10-15 minutes with the primary focus on my hamstrings, ITs and glutes.  I also stretch, quad, calf and lower back but with time constraints I need to focus where issues occur.  I then roll on a foam roller for several minutes on my ITs.  The foam roller has been my greatest ally since I first had IT pain.

REFUEL/HYDRATE: Regardless of what we take in during any workout or run it is necessary to eat and drink following.  After my typical weekday sessions I will usually drink a Hammer Recoverite mix to replenish what I have used up and drink plenty of water. I actually hydrate all day, not only immediately following.  After weekend sessions which are significantly longer runs I will immediately drink the Recoverite and when I get home I (or more often my wife because she is the best) will cook up a nice breakfast consisting of eggs, potatoes and breakfast meat.  I try to get these calories in within one hour of finishing as "the experts" say its when our bodies are most starved and able to benefit most from the calories.  After longer runs it takes couple of hours to get fully rehydrated so I make a concsious effort to drink water continuously until I have made it to the bathroom a couple of times and the color is light.

ICE BATH: Oh the pain.  Possibly one of the most underutilized tools we have because it simply sucks.  The dreaded ice bath is always uncomfortable, takes your breath away and almost always painful. I however am a believer. As we all know the result of pain is often a benefit and I am certain it holds true in this instance. I only do this after extended runs of 2 hours or more.  Simply fill the tub with water and ice up over your waist and sit for 10 to 15 minutes.  In the winter I don't even use ice because the water is already so cold (my rule is if it takes away your breath its cold enough).  A little trick to avoid the pain that comes with diving right in to freezing cold water is to immerse yourself in cold water first and after a minute or two start adding ice.  I started the ice bath routine a couple of years ago and it has definitely made a difference in my recovery after long runs.

If none of this works I just kick back with a tasty IPA.



  1. If the IPA is cold enough, wouldn't that count for an ice bath? Keep it real!

  2. Will, That is proof right there how intelligent ultra runners are. Peace

  3. I often find the ice bath harder to get into then the actual run. Painfully necessary tho

  4. I dont think they are necessary. I think you have to ask why does your body need it what is out of alignment to cause the pain to begin with. I have a set of Egoscue post exercises that I do that are specific stretches for me and my bad knee that make me feel great after a long run....thoughts?

  5. Talitha, I think you are referring to ice baths which are not about alignment correction. Its to reduce inflamation and muscle soreness and help with recovery. Would love to hear about these excercises/stretches you mention! Thanks E


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