All my favorite tools for recovering from runs! Everything from tools to fuel to help you recover faster to get back out running on the roads quicker!
With April in full swing, many runners are preparing for upcoming spring and summer races. I have my first race of 2017 at the end of this month!! As training continues on, mileage increases and many runners start looking at recovery as a vital part of their training plan. Just running every day is not going to get you to the start line healthy and ready — recovery is an important part of every training cycle! After my runs I spend a decent amount of time allowing my body to recover from my run so I can recover faster and get back out on the roads sooner, rather than later.
Below I am sharing my favorite recovery tools I currently use. Some tools I have been using since I started running back in my freshman year of college, others I have just started using, but am already loving. I would love to hear what your favorite recovery tools are for running too! Make sure to share in the comments section below.
You know those knee-high socks you often see runners at races wearing? Yeah those! Compression socks are on of my favorite recovery tools. They are also one of the easiest to implement into your lifestyle (well, once you get them on 😉 ). Compression socks provide gradual compression to your legs to increase blood flow and combat muscle soreness and fatigue. I often wear compression socks during my runs and especially after runs I will slip these socks on to wear around the house. If I have a long day on my feet, I am no stranger to wearing these to work! They help my legs to recover from runs of any distance and speed quicker so I can get back out on the roads quicker! My favorite brand of compression socks are Pro Compression — I love their marathon socks.
| Related: Why Compression Socks? |
After every run I drink water mixed with electrolyte powder (and sometimes collagen too!). It helps to rehydrate my body after running and gives me a balanced source of electrolytes. I am not brand loyal to any specific electrolyte powder, but lately I have really been enjoying Ultima Replenisher, which provides a ton of nutrients that are much needed after a run — calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and more. I sip on my electrolyte drink while foam rolling and stretching post-run.
Muscle Pain Therapy
I just recently started using this muscle pain therapy and I LOVE it! This minty balm provides instant pain relief to trouble spots. I take a bit out and put it over any areas of my body that are causing me pain after a run. Lately, my shins have been in pain so I have been rubbing this balm onto my shins and instantly feel relief. Not to mention the cooling menthol is ?? and smells amazing! There are also essential oils of avocado, evening primrose, and hazelnut that nourish skin as well. My sore muscles calm and relax, while my skin is softened and nourished.
Epsom Salt Bath
Oh how I look forward to a Sunday evening epsom salt bath! I started taking epsom salt baths after my fall half marathon and have been hooked on them ever since. I pour about a quarter to a half cup of this epsom salt bath soak into a bathtub of warm water, then relax in it for at least 20 minutes. After a heavy week of training, it feels absolutely wonderful. In my quest to add more self-care to my lifestyle, this epsom salt bath has been time for me to focus on recovering my body from the training I put it through and just relax. I bought this bath soak at Home Goods, but I have seen epsom salt bath soaks everywhere. Even at the grocery store you can pick up a jar of it! I highly recommend.
A foot massage post-run feels the best! Especially after a long run. I love rolling out my feet and using this small and portable foot massager allows me to roll out my feet anywhere. When I sit at my desk and work I often have this foot massager out and alternate rolling out my feet on it. Even on rest days, I love being able to let my feet recover and reset for my next run. I have seen foot massagers out on the market for a ton of different price points, but this one has suited me just fine. This link is not the exact one I have, but is pretty much the same thing (I think the only difference is the brand).
I cannot write a whole post about recovery tools for runners and not talk about foam rolling! I have been foam rolling since months after I started running and have not stopped since. I’ll admit, I am much better about foam rolling when I am in training for a race, but regardless I am pretty consistent about foam rolling. I foam roll the spots that are giving me pain, but also just any area that gets worked with distance running. I also lovea foam roller foam rolling my back out after strength training. I leave my foam roller out right by my front door so once I get back from a run I can get right to foam rolling — no excuses! I recommend to every one of my friends who picks up running (of any distance) to invest in . They are not expensive and completely worth the $20 you’ll spend on it. I have had the same foam roller for years and still use it daily.
| Related: Foam Rolling 101 |
- What are your favorite tools for recovery?