So it’s Take It and Run Thursday over at Runner’s Lounge, and the title of this week’s writing assignment is “Run. Rest and Recover. Repeat.” I’m supposed to be sharing my secrets for recovery after long runs or hard races, but instead I’m going to share four you shouldn’t do. Let’s take a look:
- Don’t walk across hot coals. I don’t care if you do have a runner’s high. Your feet have already taken a beating; don’t torture them any more. Even if you’re caught in the wind of self-realization, understand that you are not Pam from The Office.
- Don’t go bull riding. My brother is an aspiring bull rider, and let me tell you, if you’re going to ride bulls, you must be able to move quickly. YOU’RE A LONG DISTANCE RUNNER! And after a long run, slow is the only speed you have, which will not bode well for your back end when the bull head butts you across the arena.
- Don’t try to outrun a serial killer. Only outrun serial killers for speed workouts. Granted, serial killers are notably out-of-shape middle-aged men, and I’m sure you give them a run for their money (pun intended), but it’s just not a good idea.
- Don’t drink your body weight. I’ve heard that a cold beer after a hot run is wonderful, but let’s not get carried away. Yes, you need to hydrate, and one or two drinks is perfectly fine, but the last thing you want the morning after a long run is a hangover and stiff quads.
I understand that I just ruined your agenda for Labor Day weekend, but let me remedy that with some recovery activities that I do recommend:
- Take a nap. In bed, on the couch, it doesn’t matter. Sleep is a way of telling your body, “Thanks for working so hard today. I love you.”
- Eat pizza. I’ll be the first to admit that pizza is one of my favorite carb-loading foods, but it also makes a great recovery meal. I personally think that a thin-crust pizza with Canadian bacon, pineapple, onion, and red pepper is the best recovery meal for my body.
- Ice everything that hurts. I have tendonitis in my left knee, and while it doesn’t flare up a lot, I like to baby it after hard runs with a little Aleve and some ice. I just prop that baby up on the ottoman and veg out.
- Watch a DVD or movie that you know by heart. This activity works best with #1 and #3. Because you know whatever you’re watching so well, you won’t feel guilty for falling asleep while watching it, yet you love it so much that it’ll keep you on the couch while you ice. I’m a big fan of Friends, The Office, and romance comedies after long runs.
That’s all I’ve got, but I’m looking for more ways to recover after my long runs because I might be running a marathon this fall, and I’ll need all the help I can get! Yikes!