You have been planning for months for the Broad Street Run - eating right, keeping up with training runs. But once you cross that finish line and the exhilaration starts to fade, have you thought about helping your body recover from the 10-mile race? To make your recovery as simple as possible, we have gathered some helpful tips from our experts.
David L. Rubenstein, sports medicine surgeon at the Rothman Institute: "Make sure you stretch within the first half-hour of completing the race, and then do 10 minutes of leg stretching later. Try to get seven to 10 hours of sleep if possible. You can do a light workout the next day and be back to your regular workout a couple of days later."
Thomas Trojian, associate chief of the division of sports medicine at Drexel University: "The most important thing, post-race, is the proper restoration of glycogen - stored sugar in the body - to prevent the delayed onset of muscle soreness. Stay hydrated and eat 40 grams of carbohydrates shortly after the race and 40 grams about four hours later.
Bobby Ndu, orthopedic surgeon at Albert Einstein Medical Center: "No matter how exhausted you are after the race, avoid sitting down. Do an adequate cool-down and make sure you get a good stretch in to minimize cramping. Put ice packs on your legs to minimize the pooling of blood in the legs. If you are experiencing a lot of swelling in the legs, put your feet up so they are elevated above the heart."
Steve Sepel, physical therapist in the MossRehab Running Clinic: "Keep in mind that recovery is not just one day. During the week after a race, the body is more fragile, more prone to injury. Skip running and instead go on walks for the next three to four days. Because alcohol can reduce recovery time, don't go out to celebrate right after the race if you have another race coming up or plan on continuing your running schedule."
Luke T. Smith, advanced clinician at JeffFIT Outpatient Rehab Therapies: "Listen to your body. People tend to get hurt because they do not give their body time to recover and then they go right into other activities, especially when it comes to running again. Take a day off for every mile of the race. You should take about a week and a half to ease back into your normal activities."
R. Robert Franks, sports medicine physician at the Rothman Institute: "Runners usually won't stop running, but we try to get our athletes to take a little time off after the race or to switch to non-impact exercise. Some will run in water or on an antigravity treadmill. In the next several days after the race, consider evaluation if you are experiencing any pain that does not resolve. We often see several cases of shin splints come Monday or Tuesday after the Broad Street Run. This is one of the most common conditions we see."