Running Recovery Tips
Running is a fantastic way to get your blood pumping and let off a bit of steam. It can be a great way to get some alone time if you’re always surrounded by work colleagues or young children, or it can be a fun way to fit in a work out whilst spreading your social butterfly wings with a group of like minded exercisers.
Whilst it is important to move your body, the question is are you guilty of doing the hard yards and forgetting about the downtime? Recovery time is important for your overall health and well being, and will also help to improve your running going forward. So if you are someone who feels the need for speed and finds it difficult to remember to do the slow stuff we’ve got a few simple tips for you:
1. Get a massage:
Running can leave the muscles and joints in your feet, hips, legs and back feeling tight and sore. Having some hands on treatment to free up those tight spots and dig in to those nuisance knots will not only feel amazing but can help increase blood flow to those areas and aide in your recovery. Our highly experienced team here at Hoppers Physio are here to help soothe those aches and pains and send you back out ready to take on the track!
2. Try foam rolling or a massage ball:
If time or money are stopping you from coming in to see us for some hands on help, why not try some self massage with either a foam roller or a massage ball? These tools are relatively inexpensive and can be good to have on hand at home for those times when you’re feeling achy but are on your own. Both tools are simple to use and don’t require much in the way of space or set up. Foam rolling can be done on your carpet, and a massage ball can be placed against a surface like a wall or on the floor. The basic premise is that the roller or the ball is used to dig in to those tight spots and release any tension. Similarly to hands on treatment with a physiotherapist, these techniques aim to increase blood flow and allow for increased mobility, both of which should help you with your running. There are numerous videos available online with suggestions on how to use these tools but if you’d like some advice tailored to your own body and individual needs our professional team are here to assist you.
3. Soak in a warm bath:
Having a bath is a great way to wind down and allow your body to loosen up after a run. The warmth helps improve circulation and the alone time helps quieten the mind and allow your body to rest and heal. Adding Epsom salts to a bath has long been thought to aide in recovery from muscle soreness and tension. Epsom salts release magnesium and sulphate into the water, and it is thought that these help soothe muscles and improve sleep. There is some debate over whether the benefits occur more from the bath itself or from the added magnesium but if it helps you, we’re all for it!
There’s no miracle cure or wonder drug that heals everything but sleep comes pretty darned close! Sleep is vital for cell repair, and interestingly is also the time when a lot of new muscle growth takes place. Sleep is also a key ingredient for having enough energy to bound into a new day. So if you want to be out running and catching that beautiful sunrise, be sure to get to bed early enough the night before.
5. Try some compression:
Compression leggings or stockings help to boost circulation, reduce inflammation and increase lymphatic drainage, which is going to help your body get rid of waste products that can build up while you run. Waste products like lactic acid can cause pain after a strenuous work out, so by using a bit of compression afterwards you will hopefully manage to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. It is vital to also remain hydrated before and after running to aide in this process. Our team can chat to you about compression clothing and help you work out if it might be right for you.
Our professional team here at Hopper’s Physio are here to help if you have any questions or concerns about your running style or your recovery. Call us on (03) 9749 5110 today for an appointment.