Sunday, January 29, 2012

Long Run Recovery

Psst - have you entered the Run Pretty Far calendar giveaway yet?  You have a few hours left if you're reading this moments after I post it.  :-)

Today I went for my longest run yet - approximately 16 kilometres (10 miles, give or take) in approximately two hours.  It felt amazing.  The weather was perfect and despite a few hiccups with my route (so many icy cold puddles that were deeper than I thought they looked!), I enjoyed almost every minute of it and could have kept going.

My route took me through Quebec, over the Ottawa River twice, up to Rideau Hall (the official residence of the Governor General), through the beautiful surrounding neighbourhoods and past many embassies, and up and down the canal.  Every time I run in this city I feel so very lucky to live here.  I took a bunch of pictures along the way but haven't had a chance to upload them yet.

When I got home, I was feeling a lot of things.  Relief and pride were definitely key feelings!  Beyond that I was thirsty, hungry, cold and sore.  I needed to do a bit of a "cool down", hydrate, ice, refuel, stretch, get out of my sweaty clothes, have a shower, and foam roll/stick roll.  That is a lot of things to all do at once and I couldn't really multi-task them all at once.

Not knowing what order is really best to do those things in, I ended up...

  • pulling off my wet shoes and socks and my top layers
  • chugging a chocolate milk/banana "smoothie" while walking around my apartment to "cool down"
  • resting a bit on the couch while icing my ankle
  • showering and stretching a bit in the shower
  • stretching while drinking water
  • foam rolling and stick rolling while drinking more water 
  • drinking more water
This ended up working for me, more or less, but I'm really not sure if I went about it the best possible way.  So that's where you all come in!  When you get home from a long run, what do you do first?  Any tips, tricks or horror stories?  


  1. After my long runs, all I want to do is collapse! But my usual routine is to take off the sweaty stuff (immediately - I change into some temporary clothes before I have a chance to shower), hydrate, make the protein smoothie, eat something more (if the run is like 15+ miles), hydrate, stretch, shower... THEN I can collapse. I foam roll if I have the energy, but some times I skip it. :)

  2. I like Ottawa too - it has been many years since I visited there though.

    I like to come in and take off my wet sweaty clothes and put on something dry and light. I will drink water while I am doing this.

    Then I may make a smoothie that always includes a banana... if not then I will get a banana and a glass of milk... and I have my smoothie or snack while I stretch my legs for about 5 minutes.

    I make sure to stretch my calves, hamstrings, quads and then the soleus (lower calf) and hip flexors. I often do side leg raises while standing too.

    Then after I am completely cool, I will have my shower or a soak in the tub.

    I tried a fairly cold bath once and didn't like it.

    And then the rest of the day I try to stay off my feet.