Sore Legs After Running? Here are the 11 Best Things to do for Post-Run Recovery
Running can be a great way to get exercise and fresh air, and no special skills are required to take it up. All you need is comfortable clothes and a good pair of shoes to enter the sport. However, with roughly half of all runners being injured each year, it’s important to know how to properly cool down and recover after your runs to avoid injury.
To make sure you’re ready to record your next PB and don’t end up with a pulled muscle instead, try out the post-run recovery tips below:
Top 11 Tips for How to Recover from Running
- Cool down. If lactic acid builds up in the body, it can lead to muscle cramps and soreness, as well as an overall tired feeling. A ten-minute walking cool-down period right after a run gives the body a chance to flush lactic acid out of the blood.
- Change clothes. While cooling down is important, wearing wet, sweat-soaked clothes for an extended period of time can cool the body too quickly. Change out of wet clothes as soon as you can to promote circulation, metabolic waste disposal, and muscle recovery.
- Stretch. A good stretch after a run is another way to coax lactic acid out of the body. Stretching also encourages the body to stay flexible and ready for the next run. To resolve chronically tight muscles, try adding a foam roller to your stretching routine.
- Hydrate. The body needs water throughout the day and exercising only increases the body’s need for water. Drinking plenty of water before and after a run is crucial for maintaining running performance levels and promoting recovery.
- Eat protein. Within an hour after a run, fuel the body’s recovery with a meal rich in lean protein. This is the building block of our muscles, and eating extra protein after running fuels the muscles for healthy recovery and rebuilding. Chicken is one of the best things to eat after running thanks to its low fat and high protein content.
- Rest. It’s important to give the body the time it needs to repair the microscopic tears in the muscles that occur during a run. Repairing those tears makes the muscles stronger, but it only happens during periods of rest. How much rest your body needs depends on your running intensity and fitness level.
- Active recovery. Observing rest periods doesn’t mean you have to turn into a couch potato every other day. Biking, swimming, and yoga are a few examples of low-impact activities you can do on rest days to keep your muscles engaged but still healing from your high-intensity runs.
- Sleep. The whole body goes into repair mode while we sleep. During certain sleep cycles, the pituitary gland secretes human growth hormone (HGH) which is vital to cell regeneration. Giving your body adequate sleep will contribute to better running performance and recovery. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, try these tips to fix your sleep schedule.
- Massage. It’s no secret that massages feel great. But they also encourage better muscle repair and circulation, two critical aspects of an ideal run recovery. In addition, studies have shown that post-run massage can also boost muscle strength and proprioception (body position awareness).
- Soak. Soaking in a hot bath or hot tub after an intense run will relax tense leg muscles and reduce discomfort . If you don’t have a tub, a hot shower will help but will not have quite the same impact as a soak.
- Try CBD gummies and topicals. Using topical CBD topicals with active pain fighting ingredients can help provide temporary relief where you need it while CBD gummies can help reduce exercise-induced inflammation after a run. Choose a product that also contains menthol and camphor to ease minor aches and pains.
The Best CBD Products for Runners
All CBD products are certainly not created equal and choosing between them can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. We also offer CBD gummies that can help you get better sleep and reduce exercise-induced inflammation.
Here are our best products for runners:
- Recover CBD Gummies: these delicious gummies combine ginger, turmeric, and our full spectrum hemp extract to support exercise recovery and alleviate exercise-induced inflammation.
- Sleep CBD Gummies: these gummies combine the power of the natural sleep aid melatonin with our high quality, full spectrum hemp extract to ensure you get the most restful sleep possible.
- Muscle and Joint Pain Relief Spray: With active OTC pain fighting ingredients menthol and camphor, this fast-drying spray helps you get temporary relief from pain where you need it.
Running is a great way to keep the body and mind healthy. While runners are likely to sustain injuries and experience achy joints and muscles, there are many things that can help avoid these problems or reduce their effects. Use the tips above to make sure you get a full and proper recovery in between high-intensity runs.
To learn more about how athletes have been using CBD products to stay at their peak form, read our blog post on how to reduce muscle aches and soreness or check out the pain relief section of the Charlotte’s Web blog.