A couple of days ago I shared the pre long run checklist for runners, and today as we lead into the weekend for our next long run, here is the post long run checklist that I follow. After a long run, we all get that mental fog, so a post long run checklist like this keeps me on track to recover well and make the most of all the hard work in the long run. After all, recovery after the workout is just as important as the workout itself!
Post Run Stretches: I know a lot of us want to immediately head back home after spending 2-3 hours on a run, but this is a MUST. Performing stretching exercises after a run will help cool down the body gradually. Cool down stretches must be done while the muscles are still warm and elastic. Not doing stretches will only lead to muscle tightness and soreness. DO NOT skip this step however short of time you are.
Legs Up The Wall Pose – Viparita Karani is often called Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose, but viparita actually means “inverted,” and karani means “in action.” Once you are home, put your legs up the wall with your pelvis elevated on a folded blanket. The lymph and other fluids that can lead to swollen ankles, tired knees, and congested pelvic organs flow into the lower belly which refreshes the legs and the reproductive area. This pose also gives blood circulation a gentle boost toward the upper body and head, which creates a pleasant rebalancing after you have been running for so long.
Icing: Another important aspect of recovery is to ice the areas which have been under stress like the foot, ankle, shin and knee. Dip the feet in an ice filled buckets for 15 mins and that will relieve you of all the strain.
With experience over a period of a year of training, I have adopted most of these steps as a habit but to be honest, its not completely possible to follow all the steps. There are other priorities which have to be attended to. But following most of these have kept me from injuries and most importantly recover feeling fresh the next day, raring to go for my next training run.
What are your priorities after a long run? How do you recover after a hard workout?