Eilish McColgan drinking REGO

Top 10 Recovery Tips for Runners 

Written By

Science in Sport Team

4 minutes

Tired legs, lack of energy, and injuries, three things every runner dreads during a training block. Whether you’re training for a marathon or a 10k race, training hard without sufficient recovery can be detrimental to the consistency of your training schedule. It’s often the marginal gains that allows your training to excel, with plenty of this to be unlocked through recovery techniques. Here are our top-10 recovery tips to help you bounce back:

1. Consume a Protein Shake 

Your protein intake post-run is crucial for muscle repair and recovery. The physical stress of running can cause microscopic damage to muscle fibres that need to be repaired. Protein consumption actively triggers muscle protein synthesis, fostering the creation of new muscle proteins, essential for optimal recovery. 

Our REGO Rapid Recovery powder delivers 20g of protein per serving, best taken within the anabolic window, 30 minutes post-exercise. 

2. Refuel with Carbohydrate 

To be ready for your next run, make sure you refuel with carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores. 1.2g of carbs per kg of bodyweight is a strong amount to aim for. Our REGO Rapid Recovery powder supplies 22g of carbohydrate per serving, as well as the 20g of protein, therefore a complete option for your recovery. 

3. Take Time to Cool Down & Stretch 

Cool downs are essential for recovery after running as they gradually lower heart rate and body temperature, promoting a smooth transition to a resting state. This process helps flush out metabolic byproducts, reducing muscle soreness and stiffness for effective post-exercise recovery. 

Runners are typically prone to soreness in the legs, specifically in the quads, hamstrings, calves and hips. Therefore, stretching is essential for full recovery as it helps improve flexibility, reduce muscle tightness, and alleviate muscle soreness. It promotes blood flow to the muscles, aiding in the removal of waste products like lactic acid, and contributes to the overall relaxation and realignment of muscles. 

4. Stay Hydrated 

When you exercise, you lose water and essential minerals such as sodium in sweat. Avoid dehydration by replacing this lost water with fluid intake post-exercise allowing your body to recover properly as body temperature and pH balance is regulated. Adding Electrolytes to your water is key in replacing lost minerals, aiding full rehydration. 

5. Massage or Foam Roll Sore Muscles 

A sports massage or massage gun is beneficial as it releases muscle tension, improving circulation, and encouraging the removal of waste products such as lactic acid that builds up during high intensity activity. All of this helps to promote recovery and reduces the chance of muscle injury.  

6. Include Active Rest Days 

Active rest days such as cross-training, like swimming or cycling, enhance running recovery by promoting blood flow, reducing muscle soreness, and preventing overuse injuries. This variety in activity maintains cardiovascular fitness whilst giving specific running muscles a needed break. 

7. Try a Cherry Juice Supplement 

Cherry Juice has been scientifically proven to aid muscle recovery by reducing onset muscle soreness, joint inflammation and pain, while also improving the quality of your sleep by increasing melatonin levels. It’s a product that has gained traction in the sports recovery world, with our REGO Cherry Juice being very recently awarded as the best post-race nutrition product by Women’s Running. 

8. Get the Right Amount of High-Quality Sleep 

Adequate sleep is critical for recovery during training, particularly when you increase your run distances, as it’s during rest that the body repairs and strengthens muscles. Quality sleep of around 7 to 9 hours enhances overall performance, reduces the risk of injury, and supports mental resilience. To help optimise your sleep, establish a consistent sleep schedule, stick to a relaxing bedtime routine, block out light, especially from screens, at least 30 minutes before sleep to promote the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. 

9. Use Heat to Soothe Sore Muscles 

Using heat in the form of a warm bath supports the relaxation and loosening of the muscles post-run. It can increase tissue flexibility and blood flow, whilst also reducing the stress hormone concentrations and improve recovery through an increase in certain anabolic hormones. 

10. Consider Cold Therapy 

Ice baths or cold-water immersion can aid recovery after an intense session by constricting blood vessels and reducing inflammation, which helps alleviate the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The cold temperature also slows down metabolic activity, reducing tissue damage and promoting faster recovery. Aim to do this within 2 hours post-run to maximise the benefits. 

Integrating our top recovery tips into your running training can help ensure effective muscle repair, reduced soreness, and sustained energy levels. From protein intake to ice baths and quick carb snacks, these strategies collectively optimise recovery, enhancing overall performance and readiness for the challenges of run training.

Written By
Science in Sport Team
Science in Sport Team
Supplying world-class knowledge, elite insights, and product recommendations to provide optimal performance solutions for all athletes across a wide variety of endurance sports.
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