If you missed the last post about my first 5k you can give it a read.
Anyways, before the race even started I assumed that I would be in a world of pain the next morning.
We were running uphill, downhill, on grass, and on cement. Usually, all of these changes in terrain will destroy my hip flexors.
Much to my surprise, when I woke up I felt normal. Nothing more than a little stiffness. I was honestly shocked.
This means that my recovery plan worked. Let’s take a look at what I did day of the race to prevent waking up to a world of hate.
The Day of the Event
The race was at 7:30pm. This was good for a number of reasons.
First, it meant it was not going to be hot during the race. Second, it meant that my recovery could start the morning of the race and not the day before.
This might seem backwards but ensuring good recovery starts with your pre event nutrition. Your body must have good nutrients before your race, game, event, etc.
The day of the race I made sure that I had enough carbohydrates, water, and just total calories. I also took a vitamin C drink packet for good measure. Having enough calories will allow you to have fuel for an event, but also once the event is over.
Your body starts the recovery process immediately when your event ends, so having proper nutrients already absorbed helps.
2 Hours before the Start
This is the last time to get some good food in. I ate some high carb foods that I knew were not going to upset my stomach. I also tried to balance off fat and protein intake as to have adequate of all macronutrients.
Eating closer to the event than 2 hours runs the risk of having some stomach problems during the event. If you know something makes you feel crappy, do not eat it before a game.
I also made sure I was hydrated before going to the race.
After the Event
After crossing the finish line, water was being handed out. Perfect. I drank almost two bottles immediately after the race.
Also, five minutes after finishing I started stretching while my muscles were still warm. The last thing I wanted to do after running was sit in a car just to stiffen up.
Immediately upon getting home, I wanted to get some carbs in. You pretty much have one hour post event to assist with glycogen repletion. This prevents “starving” the muscles of their fuel. So a bowl of grapes did the job here.
I also stretched again when I got out of the shower since the muscles were warm again.
The rest of the night was about just total calories and water.
Will this plan work for everyone? I have no reason to believe that it won’t but I cannot promise you won’t be sore from following these examples.
The main idea of proper recovery revolves around having enough food. If the body stays fueled, then it will recover better after the event. You cannot starve yourself and expect to be fine the next day.
Please note that a morning race requires previous day nutrition. It is difficult to get adequate calories in only a few hours.
Keep eating up to 2 hours before your event and within 1 hour post event. Continue drinking water as well. If you are working towards a good performance, do not regret it the next day. Take care of yourself and your body will be satisfied.