Written by: Ashley Yartin, MS, LAT, ATC at Raleigh Orthopaedic Performance Center
Fall is here! The leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping. This is also a busy time a year for runners, with races ranging from 3ks to marathons. Whether you just participated in your first City of Oaks race or prepping for your local Turkey Trot, here are a few key items to keep you healthy post race.
Active Recovery is key! Immediately following the race, start by reducing your heart rate by walking and resuming your body’s resting state. You will need to flush lactic acid from your muscles and recirculate blood which has pooled in your lower extremities. In the days following, your body will appreciate cross training such a workout on the elliptical or getting off dry land and into the pool for a swim.
Foam Rolling and stretching are often under utilized forms of recovery. Foam rollers are sold at your local sporting good stores and range in size and surface. Your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip-flexors, calves, and IT bands will thank you for the extra attention.
Recovery tools such as Normatec boots have made their name in the running world. The Raleigh Orthopaedic Performance Centers offer 30 or 60 minute sessions for both upper and lower body recovery needs. Normatec’s chamber system reduces muscle soreness and increases circulation by using compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid, and speed recovery. For more information on Normatec, visit Normatecrecovery.com or call our Raleigh Performance Center to schedule your appointment for recovery services.
Nutrition and hydration must not be overlooked. As soon as you can replenish your lost electrolytes with Gatorade, Powerade or an electrolyte drink, the better. It is also a good idea to re-hydrate alternating electrolyte drinks with water. Nutrition post run needs to be immediate including small snacks such as a yogurt, chocolate milk, banana, protein drink or peanut butter on half a piece of toast or bagel. The time frame immediately following your race should be geared at consuming about 200 to 300 easily-digestible calories from carbs and protein. The purpose is to maintain blood sugar levels, replenish muscle glycogen, and repair damaged muscle tissue. Eat a small meal that contains a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein up to 2 hours post race when your appetite has returned.
Rest is best and in this case, truer words have never been spoken. You have just asked your body to perform the unthinkable! The training regimen, the preparation, the race itself. Now its time to rest and recover. While signing up for your next feat may sound like a good idea at the time, take some time to rest before signing up for your next race.
For more information about recovery services including Normatec, dry needling, Light Force Laser Therapy, Instrument assisted manual therapy or for a free injury screen, contact Raleigh Orthopaedic Performance Center at 919-876-1100.
About Ashley Yartin, MS, LAT, ATC:
Ashley Yartin is a Certified Athletic Trainer at Raleigh Orthopaedic Performance Center. She earned her Master’s Degree from LSU in 2009 and her Bachelor of Science Degree in 2007 from Florida State University. Ashley has been a Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer since 2007. Ashley worked with the East Carolina University Women’s Basketball program as an athletic trainer for 6 years prior to joining Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic in 2015. Ashley enjoys golfing with her husband Mike, traveling and chasing around her 2 and a half year old son Jace.