How to Recover From an Ultramarathon

When it comes to races as stren­u­ous as ultra­ma­rathons, the recov­ery can often be more dif­fi­cult and painful than the train­ing. You don’t want to stop fit­ness alto­geth­er, but you don’t want to do too much so you can let your body rest and heal prop­er­ly. If you’re feel­ing lost, here are some things to keep in mind:

trStay Active
Don’t go over­board, but a lit­tle bit of car­dio will help keep blood flow­ing to the areas that need it and keep mus­cles warm so lac­tic acid doesn’t stick around and cause fur­ther pain.

Eat Right
Pro­tein and carbs are real­ly going to help restore some of your ener­gy stores lost dur­ing an ultra­ma­rathon, so eat up. And in a time when your immune sys­tem is ham­pered a bit by the phys­i­cal effort you’ve just exert­ed, it’s impor­tant to make sure you’re eat­ing bal­anced meals to keep any sick­ness at bay.

Rest
Sleep. You’ll feel a lot bet­ter. Nothing’ll take care of the tired­ness post-race like a good sleep. Post-race, account for a good nap and an extra long night of sleep.

lpMas­sage it Out
Whether you use a foam roller, lacrosse balls or actu­al­ly get a sports mas­sage, the tar­get­ed man­u­al ther­a­py is going to hurt so good. It’ll help you man­age the mus­cle inflam­ma­tion, keep the blood flow­ing and help with cramp­ing. It can also help ensure your mus­cles heal prop­er­ly and scar tis­sue doesn’t build up.

Keep it Cool
After a long run, your mus­cles are going to be pret­ty inflamed and like­ly cause some pain. Icing can help keep the inflam­ma­tion down so you’ll start feel­ing bet­ter soon. But nev­er put the ice direct­ly on your skin unless you want a nice burn.

Warm it Up
Treat stiff mus­cles to heat, whether by heat­ing pad or hot bath. But don’t heat inflamed mus­cles, since that’ll just make ‘em worse.

zsStretch it Out
Your body is going to feel pret­ty tight for a lit­tle while, so com­bat it with some tar­get­ed stretch­es. Don’t force it though, or you might find your­self in a whole new world of pain. Ease into it and stretch often.