Hard Long-Distance Race, Better Recovery
After an ultramarathon, we will need to recover before we start training again. It’s important to give our body, the perfect time to repair itself after what was most likely a very challenging effort. Most ultramarathoners take it easy for about 3-4 weeks before getting back into running consistently, but more experienced runners may feel ready more quickly.
Recovery doesn’t just mean not moving or laying around in bed for hours. Here are some steps we should take to make our post-ultramarathon recovery more effective and interesting.
Get on a Bike, Jog, and Walk:
Increasing blood flow will help move the by-products from an ultra out of our muscles, and cycling is a great way to do it in a low-impact way. If you’re feeling tight and sore after your race, try a 30-minute spin on a stationary bike, or head outdoors for some fresh air. This biking recommendation will be very efficient to reactivate and release the muscle soreness. Performing some short easy runs can also have benefits of increasing the blood flow which helps activate the oxygenation as well, which will support the muscle recovery. But no runs for many days after the Ultra to recover. Walking is also helpful for good recovery to activate the whole body and brain.
Swimming will also increase the blood flow, reactivate and release the muscle soreness with no impact and nice cool water to reduce muscle inflammation and soreness. To perform nice and easy swims for 30 minutes, will be super-efficient for post-ultra training and recovery.
Sign up for a Yoga Class:
Yin yoga is a great option for recovery, because it involves more passive stretching than the strength-intensive poses in a Vinyasa flow version class. It’s also a great way to check in with any pain, tightness and points or imbalances in our body after our race. Performing Yin Yoga will help find which muscles are super tight and able to perform some nice Yoga stretches to release the muscles.
A massage, acupuncture, or physio therapy never feels better than after we’ve tortured ourself for 50K, 100K or more. Other than a nice indulgence, a treat like this for our body is a way to mentally acknowledge the hard work we’ve done and to reward ourself before we have to get back to work and start mild training sessions.
After going through the ordeal of an ultramarathon, chances are we will want to reach for the saltiest, fattiest burger (or veggie burger), pizza, or pasta anything we crave and we can find. While there’s nothing wrong with rewarding ourself with a satisfying post-race meal, we will be feeling better in our long-term recovery if we focus on natural foods, vegetables and green vegetables, fruits, fish, meat or vegan protein and healthy fat such as avocado, coconut, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and inflammation reducing foods. We should focus on antioxidant-rich options like blueberries, dark-green vegetables, nuts, and fish for the nutrients your body needs to recover faster.
Often neglected in favour of more active recovery tools like self-massage and diet, sleeping is actually one of the most effective things we should and can do to help our body recover. So to take a nap, hit snooze, and to get to bed early will help our body recover faster. Sleep is a powerful regenerative force for our entire body, and the more sleep we get, the faster we will feel recovered.
Appreciate Finishing and Amazing Ultramarathon, Focus On Great Recovery, Feel Good Muscle Pain Release, And Enjoy Some Nice Easy Workouts Or Short Runs!