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Ask The Expert: Race Recovery

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In the days following the NYRR New York Mini 10-K, New York Road Runners hosted a live Facebook chat with Physical Therapist Varsha Parasram on race recovery. The following is an excerpt from the chat, with answers provided by Varsha.

The information provided in this chat is for informational and educational purposes, and doesn’t constitute medical or health advice for any individual problem. Please consult with your health care providers for any health problem and/or prior to starting any new exercise regimen and/or medication or changing or discontinuing any medication you have been prescribed. This chat is not intended to create a physician-patient relationship, or any other duty, between you and any member of HSS medical team.

Q1: I am very sore from the mini. What is the best recovery strategy: rest or go on easy runs?

A: Rest, ice, and getting the proper nutrition back into your body would be the best strategy for post-race recovery at this time! Give it a try for a few days before re-starting easy runs.

Q2: What are some stretches that will help with minor IT band pain?

A: Stretching the IT Band gets tricky, but if you have a foam roller, it’s a great tool to use to help release any ITB tightness. Just lay on your side on the foam roller where the ITB is, and roll your body slowly up and down over the foam roller. You may feel a little sore from this but it definitely helps to get out the tension in the area!

Q3: I’ve just started using a standing desk at work, so I’m transitioning from being relatively sedentary at work to standing all or most of the day and I’m wondering if there are any stretches I should do before, after, or during standing to help — and what, if anything, I should be aware of on days when I’m standing all day and then heavily exercising afterwards.

A: It’s good that you have a standing desk at work, but I would recommend if possible, easing yourself into the use of the standing desk. A good stretch for you may be a standing hamstring stretch. If there are days that you spend most of your time standing, you may want to go through a good stretching routine before you start your workout after work.

Q4: I’m having some weird pain in the arch of my left foot. Do you have any thoughts on how to recover from that?

A: Try a heel cord stretch for the left foot and a frozen bottle of water under the foot with pressure to help alleviate some pain. I would also consider going to the doctor to eliminate the possibility of any underlying injury.

Q5: I have extremely tight calves after the Mini. What’s the best recovery method?

A: Best recovery for tight calves would be to stretch! Try a calf stretch, a hamstring stretch, and a quad stretch (all the big lower extremity muscle groups).

Q6: My ankle is hurting when I walk and I’m worried it will interfere with my marathon training. It hurts right above ankle bone.

A: If your ankle is hurting with walking alone, it may be time to get it checked out by the doctor. You may need to take it easy with any running or training in the mean time, and ice the ankle if there is swelling or soreness.

Varsha Seemangal is a doctor of physical therapy with the Rehabilitation Department at Hospital for Special Surgery.