Post BB10K Recovery
by Leslie Armstrong | May 22, 2016
Hiking Mommy Blog
Yeah! You just crossed the finish line, whether it’s your first or 31st BolderBOULDER your feet have pounded through the streets of Boulder on Memorial Day and you are done! Congrats! Maybe you join the sub-40 minute group and maybe you limped across right before the last person, either way you have a lot to be proud of.
Great…now what? It’s time to recover. I asked my 6 year old son who ran his first BolderBOULDER last year and is training for his second one this year how he would tell people to recover. In his words “drink the stuff they give you and eat the goodies too, find a spot to watch the show, and then have mommy carry you on her back to the van”. Not a bad plan…if you are 6 and all 50,000 of us plan on having our mom’s meet us at the finish line and having them carry us home. But for the rest of us we might need a little more help with recovering from the race.
So in the theme of Recovering, there are 5 Re-words that help us accomplish it.
Refuel- this has actually been talked about a lot recently. You will be hard pressed to find a running magazine or workout blog that doesn’t mention refueling. And while there are almost as many ideas and suggestions as to what to recover with, most people out there would recommend a mixture of protein and carbs. My go to of gummy bears and milk probably isn’t the best option…even if the gummy bears are from Sprouts which automatically qualifies them as healthy (right?). Now if I replace my gummy bears with some protein then I might be a little more inline with the current recommendations. Likely it will be something you need to experiment with and see what your stomach can handle, what tastes good and what works. Recommendations are get something in within 30 but better yet, 15 minutes of finishing.
Refresh-those muscles worked hard! They need some help now. Again lots of opinions and options out there- ice, foam rolling, massage, stretching, compression socks/gloves, etc. This may take a little experimenting and finding out what works. Many times this winter my go-to has been sitting in a pile of snow in my front yard after my long runs…while I do get crazy looks from my neighbors I have found my muscles recover so much faster. However, while snow is not 100% ruled out for Memorial Day (it did snow on my wedding day in JUNE 11 years ago…anything is possible), let’s all hope that we aren’t wearing snow shoes this year for the race.
Relax-You did it! And now that you have some protein and carbs in you and you have given your muscles some much needed love and care, relax a little. Find a seat in Folsom Field and celebrate and cheer on the rest of the runners. Watch the elites run, and stick around for the Memorial Day salute. We all have so much to be thankful for because of the men and women that have and currently are serving our country all over the world. We are here because of what they do. So take a moment and sit back, relax and reflect.
Review-At some point it’s a good idea to review your performance. What was your goal…for a PR? Just to make it to the finish? Be under 60 minutes? Run with your kids and make a memory? How did that go? Even if it was the most perfect race and you did exactly what you set out to do…there is still something you can and should learn from. And with this, even if you didn’t meet your goal, don’t beat yourself up and get discouraged, identify what didn’t go well and determine what needs to change.
Refocus-It’s another 365 days till the next BolderBOULDER, but what are you going to do between now and then? Was this your first run in a long time? Or was this just a training run for a bigger run later on in the summer? No matter where this falls, it’s time to set some new goals…maybe join a local running club, start a running journal, add in some weekly speed work, sign up for a ½ marathon, do a family run once a week, whatever it may be, if there’s not a goal set there’s not much motivation to get up and keep running when there’s nothing we’re working towards.
And so there you have it, the 5 steps to Post Race Recovery- Refuel, Refresh, Relax, Review, and Refocus. In small ways they can be done after each run you do. But as you cross that finish line in Folsom Field this Memorial Day, congratulate yourself on a job well done and if your mom isn’t there to carry you home, take a few minutes then to focus on your Recovery.