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Advice to improve your movement, fitness, and overall health from the world's #1 in orthopedics.

7 Tips for Recovering After a Half-Marathon

Now that you’ve run the big race, help your body recover with these strategies.

Advice to improve your movement, fitness, and overall health from the world's #1 in orthopedics.

So you’ve run a half-marathon. Congratulations! Committing to a race, completing your training and crossing the finish line is a huge accomplishment. Now that you’ve conquered the big day, it’s time to take care of your body to help it recover.

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Follow the steps below from HSS exercise physiologists Pamela Geisel and Kate Baird post-race to aid in your recovery.

  1. Celebrate! First and foremost, take a moment to thank your body for the awesome work you did. Whether you ran a PR or just made it out the door and to the starting line, you came, you saw, you conquered, and that speaks volumes about you.
  2. Catch your ZZZs.  Over the next day or so you may be a little more tired than normal, so getting enough down time and sleep is essential. Sleep is the magic space in which our body recovers and grows stronger, so take these few days to prioritize your bedtime and sleep routine. 
  3. Fuel up. Choose foods that will help you recover and ensure there is balance between healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates on your plate. Running stresses your body, so you want to concentrate on adding anti-inflammatory foods such as green leafy veggies, nuts, berries, olive oil, and fatty fish.
  4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Most of us have trouble hydrating normally, so be sure to have a glass of water at every meal if you tend to skip it.  
  5. Make time for a gentle stretch. We all have those stretches that we love after running and they are worth repeating in the day or two following your race. You may even pull out your foam roller and do a little rolling before your stretch. 
  6. Repeat after us: Leave your blisters alone. Blisters can happen to any runner. How you address them is the important part. Do not pick or pop them and try to give them as much air time as possible. Blisters can get infected, so if one does pop, be sure to gently clean it and cover it with a bandage. Change the bandage often to keep the blister dry. 
  7. Keep moving! Cross training is always your friend, but especially in the week after a race. Choose activities that will ease you back into your routine such as cycling, elliptical, and walking. Try not to go completely sedentary, as the movement will help keep your joints mobile and encourage blood flow, which will help you recover.

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