Tuesday, January 29, 2013

T-minus 12 days till race day, and counting: What you do after the run is just as important as the run itself!

For tonight's tempo run I had arranged to meet my running buddy Kate downtown after work and then we'd head out for a 6k tempo together. So after work, I checked the weather, put on my gear, said goodbye to hubby and headed out the door.

But when I turned on the car, I realized that I'd forgotten a key part of my equipment: a warm jacket for after the run. I ran inside quickly, grabbed my ski jacket, then headed back out.

It brought home an important point about running, which follows a bit from yesterday's post about taking rest days to allow your body to recover from long runs or arduous workouts.

It's what you do immediately following a winter run that is just as important as the run itself. In addition to making sure you get in a good post-run stretch, after any winter run you'll make sure you plan for things like:

- dry, warm clothes to change into after your run (even if you're just driving right back home), since the body cools down quickly after running outside in the cold for some time (think of packing at least a jacket, and/or sweater, hat and mitts/gloves);
- proper hydration immediately after the run, and then sipping on water for the next few hours until your urine runs clear again;
- a good post-run recovery snack (I like to have a chocolate-banana or strawberry-banana shake right after the run, or even just chocolate milk and chips for the salt);
- a good post-run recovery meal within an hour/hour and a half of your run (I like things like pizza, burgers or chicken burgers, but the Hypo Half brunch of eggs, sausages and hashbrowns is also great)
- once you get back home or to your hotel room, run an Epsom salt bath (warm, but not too hot) - I'm sorry but I just will not do an ice bath in the middle of winter!

Thinking about these things is important as you plan for race day, because you'll need to consider them in the things you pack and prepare in your bags the night before race day. As you look ahead to race day, start thinking not only about what you'll pack for the race itself, but also start making a list of things to pack in your post-race bag.

Trust me - once you cross that finish line, you may be tired, warm and exhausted, but it won't take long for your body to cool down and start stiffening up, at which point you'll be glad you have your post-race bag with you!

What things do you include in your post-run/race bag? Share your tips here!


1 comment:

  1. I always bring a dry bra. Not only is dry more comfortable, you are less likely to chafe under your chest band as your skin dries and gets sticky. A dry face cloth is also handy for soaking up excess sweat if there's no water or giving your upper body a quick wipe-down if there is.