Not too long ago I posted some stories about how I recover post run. Having just run 26 trail miles there were some bits and bobs to ease the muscles and help my body get ready for running again. Got a few questions, so here are some of the things I use.
It’s worth saying that these are a personal preference, a scientist I am not. The usual things that you can Google for recovery, the good nutrition, stretching, etc are obviously a key way forward.
LEG PUMMELING I usually have to wait until at least the evening of the run to give my muscles a bit of a massage. Unless you are a highly flexible masochist self massage is not that easy. I have a trio of tools that I use (a combo of one or two usually.) These move my leg muscles around and get a bit of blood flowing back to them. The level of massage firmness depends on how delicate the legs are feeling. I use a funky vibrating foam roller and massage gun, and a massage stick (or Bastard Stick as it’s known in our house.) These all work really well as they get right into the muscles. However you don’t need to use anything half as fancy if you don’t want to.. back in the day, before there where a tonne of products out there, I used a bottle of wine (don’t judge me) or a rolling pin on the calves and quads.
PAMPERING Ok the first bit of this isn’t quite that pampering… if it’s been a very fast (not so often these days) or very hilly run, then icing works. Nowadays, I usually put my feet and ankles in a bucket of ice. It’s not very pleasant but I really feel it works well on my ropey ankles. (Years ago it would be both legs fully submerged. Not quite up to that icy stamina these days!) The coldness is swiftly followed by a nice hot bath. I put magnesium flakes and/or Epsom salts in and relax. Feels nice. Sometimes I have a cup of tea and a snack in the bath at the same time.. what a louche.
Yes. Socks. Every single time I post a picture of my toe separating socks I get a huge response; generally 55% “What are these called? How do they work?” to 45% “What THE HELL? Nope”
Truth be told I had a bad foot injury a while back. Neglecting foot exercises I didn’t even know you could stretch your feet. My mate Lily Partridge put me on to these. She’s an elite runner so she must know her stuff. I have been using the socks since my foot injury and my feet honestly feel so much better afterwards. I had to build up to wearing them as it was excruciating at first (honestly, my feet were SO BAD) around 20 mins to 1 hour after a long run. You can buy some off amazon or Toe Toe socks… if you want to see if it is for you prior to purchase simply try separating your toes with some tissue so they are spread out like you are about to paint your toenails.
UNWHACKY STUFF CBD Oil is relatively new on the recovery scene and has gone on to become a multi-million pound industry in a very short space of time. I take it occasionally post long run or race. All the illegal and fun stuff has been taken out and you are left with anti-inflammatory qualities. To be really honest this is very hard to measure but I like to think I feel better the next day. I started taking it when I had been treating the aforementioned foot injury for weeks, things seemed to improve rather quickly upon taking. There is a baffling array of them out there and almost certainly some are not what they say they are. My advice is to get a reputable or known brand. You can buy these on the high street now in Boots or Holland & Barrett. I use this brand as it was developed by two professional Rugby Players.
PIZZA Look, I’m no nutritionist, and can not apply science to this. All I can say is 10 years of hard research into the matter.. and eating pizza after a big race, ultra, or very long run will definitely make you feel better. BBQ base for maximum recovery…