Recovery Tips for Newbies: How to Recover Properly in RUNNING

Recovery always plays a significant role in training and post workout activities. To emphasize its importance, let us compare your body to a smartphone. After keeping all its daily functions active and working for a long time, it will need to replenish its battery. Initializing various applications or heavily browsing the internet while your phone is charging will hamper the increase of its battery life, forcing it to have a longer time to recharge.

Like smartphones, runners like us also need to take a time-off after participating in a race. For example, if you just finished a Half-Marathon recently, your body would need a couple of days (or weeks) to fully recuperate before you can resume training and run at that level of intensity again. It’s a common belief that the distance you covered is parallel to the time period needed by your body to recover. Being involved in strenuous activities after an intense workout is a winning ticket for mild and major running-related injuries.  

To reach optimal recovery point and hit back on the road as soon as possible, here are some of the tips that you may do to ensure that your body recovers properly.      

1.) Cool down: Get slower

“Cooling down” after a workout enables your fired-up muscles return back to their normal function. Dial in at least 10 minutes of easy jogs or walking after your workout to begin the cool down process. Having light stretching or yoga activities help lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce lower body pains. This post workout phase also gives us the time to check and assess the current condition our body or muscles after running.    

2.) Cold Therapy: You need to chill, Bro!

Runners may take immediate actions to reduce muscle swelling or pain by using ice packs or cold compressors, ice baths, or cyrotherapy chambers. The cold temperature causes your blood vessels to constrict or tighten. This helps your muscles to recover faster by removing the workout wastes or lactic acids.
3.) Recovery Meals: Eat your way out

Science will tell you that your muscles are made of protein. Eating meals rich in protein aids our muscles to recover faster because the amino acids found in protein provide the raw materials needed for muscle repair. Combining the consumption of food with healthy fats such omega-3 and monounsaturated fats (avocado, tuna, salmon, nuts, olive oil, etc,) and carbohydrates (bananas, brown rice, low fat yogurt, whole grain bread, etc) will support your body to become healthy and stronger during your recovery period. Don’t forget to hydrate as well!

4.) Have a massage: It can also be D.I.Y.

Aside from the fact that having a massage feels good, it is used to speed recovery. It helps relive body tension, reduce muscle soreness, enhance blood flow, remove muscle toxins, aid in preventing a potential injury, promotes better sleep, and many more. Some runners prefer utilizing different sized Foam Rollers to massage areas such as legs, ankles, shins, and calfs.

5.) Compression Items: They were meant for this

Compression gears don’t just improve performance during races, but it also expedites recovery. Compression wear was initially developed as a treatment for swelling disorders like lymphedema, where limbs swell up like balloons because the body’s lymph drains don’t work properly( via Some experts claim that wearing compression clothing after a workout treats muscle fatigue and swelling and assists our body’s blood flow, especially in your legs and thighs if you like wearing knee length compression socks or tights.

6.) Active training: Keep moving those muscles!

Being active while recovering can be beneficial to the body as well. Cross training during your recovery period prevents your muscles and joints from stiffening, increases your blood circulation, and lessens fatigue and soreness without having the physical impacts of running. You may go for cycling, swimming, yoga, lifting, or even walking. Just always remind yourself NOT to overdo it.

7.) Having Downtimes: You need a refresher

 Non-running related activities can also help your body to resist high readings of Cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that, if it becomes too much, can prolong or affect physical recovery. Doing things that you naturally enjoy boosts our psychological state which also plays a pivotal role in any kind of recovery.

8.) Sleep: We all need those ZzZzZzs

According to Trent Stellingwerff, the research and physiology leader at the Canadian Sport Institute, 90 to 95 percent of all recovery can be achieved by proper sleep and nutrition. Aside from maintaining a healthy diet, having 8 or more hours of sleep enables our body to repair damaged muscles and tissues, replenish energy, and improve performance for the next day. 

Why be a RUNNER?

People tend to ask me the “Why do you run?” question every time they become curious about the sport I’m interested in. As always, I end up answering them with another question; “Why don’t you?” Running is a sport packed with ass-kicking benefits that everyone should know about. For some reason, non-runners are hesitant to try because of the irrational fears and limited knowledge about running.    

Well, here are 5 GOOD REASONS why you should start RUNNING too!       

1.) You can run at ANY TIME

Unlike some sports, you don’t have to be “skilled” at it before you can start calling yourself a “runner”. Running is a primal sport. Human beings can run with or without intensive training. It’s our natural ability. Some mistake running as an equivalent for “being fast”, which is often not the case. Whether you do it slowly or fast, as long as you run, you’re a runner! Just a pair of nice running shoes and a safe road, you are all set. It doesn’t matter if you do it alone, with friends, or team mates. You can do it anytime.

2.)  It will make you literally HAPPY!
“Ayoko tumakbo. Stressed na ako sa trabaho” is one of the most common dialogues of people who are not particular to running. Whether it is physical or mental, being stressed is a natural state that we have to deal with every day.

 Runners, on the other hand, tend to be more positive and energized than those who do not run at all. 

Endorphins are produced every time a person exercises. Researchers call it the “happy hormones”.   It’s a feeling of being “happy” or satisfied after a run or workout (“Sarap tumkabo”… “Sarap mag-gym!”). 

Running also helps treat depression and increase our brain’s serotin levels which will make us calmer, relaxed, and energized. You can definitely run away from your stress!
3.)  You Can Eat Those Carbs! (The Right Ones…)

Extra rice. More Pasta. Eating meals packed with carbohydrate is a big no-no for those who are trying to lose weight. What’s the good news? Carbs-eating is a big plus for runners. Carbs, as what others call it, serve as fuel for our muscles every time you run. Increasing the intake of carbohydrates helps boost running performance and mood, especially during long runs or intervals. Running burns a lot of calories, a lot of it, so it needs continuous supply of food with carbohydrates before and after the run. 

However, that doesn’t mean you will eat EVERYTHING that has carbohydrates in it (Yes, French Fries isn’t included in the list… and also pizza.). Pasta, brown rice or rice, oatmeal, meals with tomato sauce, banana, and yogurt are just some of the foods with good carbs you can eat. Talk about healthy eating! 


4.) Run away from sickness!
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death around the globe. Would you believe if you suddenly find out that running for just an hour (in a day or week) can reduce the risk of having a heart problem by 50%? People who regularly exercise and achieve the advised exercise and running programs have lower risks of getting colon cancer than those who seldom work out. Women, who are highly active in running, also have less chances of having breast cancer by up to 30%. 

In some studies, running was proven to be of help when it comes to keeping our minds sharp and providing protection against dementia and Alzheimers. These are just SOME of the good things that running can do to your body. Run now and your body will thank you later for it.

5.) Join the community!

Every year, the running community grows bigger. Hundreds of people run in their private time and thousands join races together with their friends and families. Be involved in various advocacies supported by the different races managed by race organizers.

Widen your social circle as you meet new people in running camps or teams.  Learn and discuss the latest running technologies and programs with fellow runners across the internet. 
In short…

Running have changed my life and the lives of other people as well. These are just some of the good things that you will experience once you start hitting the road. Always remember that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. So don’t be afraid to try and create a wonderful journey for yourself. Start now and be a runner!