Did you know that relatively few runners actually run the distance of their half-marathon, or marathon, in preparation for their run?
Even when they feel prepared, the circumstances of the day may change things every so slightly; the excitement of race day changes your pace, or those last few miles pushes an individual muscle over the brink just enough to cause you a problem.
So although you can’t always avoid injury, you can definitely plan well for the run ahead, and what you’re doing after the race to remain injury-free.
Make sure you are well rested, well fed and hydrated before the run.
Your practitioner at NIHP can suggest the best dynamic exercises for you.
During the run, know your pace and heat limits, and adjust accordingly.
Once you’ve reached your goal of the finish line, your celebration begins – congratulations, you’re awesome! 😊
But that’s not quite the end because your recovery begins immediately, and your recovery plan is just as important as your training plan.
You should start with cooling down. Lots of people dismiss this as a waste of time, but it’s very important if you want to avoid injury.
In the first 24 hours after the run ensure your rest day includes some light recovery work; we recommend a warm shower or a bath with Epsom Salt, followed by light stretching and foam rolling or a massage.
If you are continuing with training in the days and weeks ahead, we recommend starting with 15-30 minutes of low impact activity at an easy effort followed by flexibility work, and gently increasing the time and intensity as your body recovers.
Your practitioner at NIHP can suggest the best flexibility exercises for you.
It’s important to stress that rest is not stopping completely, or running less than while you were training, but means getting back into your routine gradually, eating correctly, flexibility work and getting enough sleep.
We’re all individual and our bodies adjust and recover differently, so listen to what your body is telling you and take action!