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Last month I ran my first 5k of the season. While I’ve stayed in shape and active all winter, the weather in the PNW has made running outdoors for long distances very difficult. I felt totally awesome after finishing the 5k, I started paying the price only a few hours later. Then, the next day I was SO sore!!!
When I first started running races, I noticed that are a lot of posts about how to recover from marathons and other super intense competitions, but there aren’t many tips about 5ks. If you’ve never run a 5k, or if you haven’t gotten your first race in for the season, here are 5 tips on how to recover from a 5k.
1) Stay Very Hydrated
Your hydration doesn’t end when the 5k ends. Make sure after you finish your run, that you keep drinking water. You probably started your Saturday or Sunday morning off by losing a lot more sweat than normal. You will still need your normal water intake for the day, and it’s a good idea to drink a little more. I also suggest drinking a beverage that has added electrolytes.
A lot of people talk about hydrating before and during a run, but don’t forget to keep hydrating for the rest of the day!
2) Stretch that Day
Stretching is important both before and after a run. I noticed during the run I did last month, that my muscles immediately felt tight and achey as soon as I crossed the finish line. It’s important to do a cool down “lap” outside of the race path, and stretch right after a run to keep your muscles loose to help prevent injury. You should also stretch a few hours later or before bed. Being kind to your body will help it be kind to you!
After this race, I walked in circles around the green play pad while I ate the race-provided banana. I hate bananas, but I know how good they are right after a run. The walking while I ate it helped distract me from the taste.
3) Take TYLENOL® 8 HR Muscle Aches & Pain
Taking TYLENOL® 8 HR Muscle Aches & Pain will help temporarily relieve muscle aches and pains. Taking TYLENOL® after my run helped my muscles be less sore. The 8 hour feature is key so that we can continue with the rest of the chores our weekends hold. It’s not only good for post-run-soreness, but also to support you after any activity where you feel muscle aches and soreness, like yard work, a game of flag football with your friends, or that boot camp class at the gym that you avoid during the week because you’re too tired after work!
TYLENOL® can be purchased at Target, near the Pharmacy. Remember, TYLENOL® 8 HR Muscle Aches & Pain is only for adults and children 12 years old and older. Take it only as directed and check with your doctor if you have any conditions. I don’t have children, but if you do, make sure to keep it out of their reach!
Thanks to the work you’ve done to recover after you conquer the 5k first thing in the morning, you can take back your day!
4) Take an Epsom Salt Bath
I have found that epsom salt baths make a huge difference in my recovery. Simply add a cup or two of epsom salt to a warm bath, grab a book and relax!
It may be hard to take this step because you feel like you have a lot of things on your to-do list today. But remember, you just kicked butt and finished a race! You deserve to treat yourself to a few moments of quiet relaxation.
5) Work out the Next Day
It may be really hard to motivate yourself to work out on the day after a run, but it will make a huge difference in your recovery. Your muscles will really appreciate the extra attention. You don’t have to do another workout that is hard on your body. Instead, you can try a yoga or swim class.
Mixing things up in your workout routine not only helps your body get fit and toned in different areas, but it also prevents boredom. Win-win! What do you do to reduce muscle aches and pains after a hard workout or satisfying race??
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical expert, and this post is not medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. ©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017. The third party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their respective owners.