Here are some things that I do after my big event. . .OUCH!

The half marathon is no different from a full marathon, a 10K or even a 5K run when it comes to recovery.  We are all still humans at various levels and we need to recovery properly.  When running, your knees, legs and muscles take a beating.  There are a lot of mechanics that go into moving your body at a higher speed than walking and it starts with the heart and works it way down to your muscles.

Here are some quick tips for a nice recovery that I do and have done for over 20 years.  I share these same tips with boot campers and runners that I help train as well:  
1.  Soon after your race or training run just walk and keep moving for 15 minutes.  "I know, you just finished running and you just want to sit!".  I totally get it but you need to grab water, take a deep breath and keep moving.  This is the best way to get your heart rate down, cool the body and get your blood circulating properly to start the recovery process.

2.  If you can (this is a hard one for me but getting better) 60-90 minutes after your run refuel your body with a protein enriched meal that also included carbohydrates. The protein will help muscles that have been broken down during your run to rebuild properly while the carbs will replenish your glycogen levels.

3.  When your muscles get as sore as mine (and not because you did something really silly like put your orthotics on backwards) I suggest that you give yourself a nice ice bath for your legs and feet.  This method is called cryotherapy which constricts blood vessels and slows down metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown.  In college, we used cryotherapy or "ice baths" for quick recovery after our first day of preliminary competition.

4.  I can not stress this one enough. . ."GET YOUR WATER" consistently and test your hydration level by checking your "tinkle" each time you visit the "johnny"!.  LOL! The darker your urine, the more water you need, of course, the clearer it is means you are on the right track.

5.  Last, take one week off from running and continue to stretch 2 times a day.  For you running freaks out there, I know you will ignore this one but I am telling you, your body needs to heal.  Even though you may look great from the outside, those muscles and organs need a break on the inside.  I know you want to get back out there and you want your next run to be a successful one, so take a break and just chill!

Stay Strong, Live Long and RUN!