You did it, you completed a half marathon! Give yourself a pat on the back because that is a brilliant achievement. Now that you’ve just crossed the finish line, you may be wondering how to treat your body to some well-deserved care and attention? 
Post-race recovery is as crucial as the race itself, ensuring you not only bounce back but also set the stage for your next run. Whether you're a seasoned runner or a total newbie, these recovery tips will have you feeling rejuvenated and ready to go again in no time. 

Immediate post-race care 

First up, let’s talk about what you need to do straight after the race is finished. 
Keep those legs moving, we know, we know — the last thing you want to do is more exercise but trust us on this one. Walking around aids in blood circulation, preventing stiffness and cramps from kicking in. 
Don't forget to give those tired muscles some love by stretching them. 
Hydration is always important, but now it is more important than ever. Grab some water, coconut water, or a sports drink. Oh, and a post-race beer is fine, just don’t turn it into a marathon of its own…however tempting that may seem! 
It’s important that you refuel, as your body will be pretty depleted after a race so make sure you reach for a tasty snack within 15 minutes of finishing. We recommend opting for something nutritious like a banana rather than grabbing a chocolate bar. 

Post race: On the same day 

Your bodies in recovery mode now, so now is the time to assist it further. 
Refuel with small, protein and carb-rich meals to boost your energy levels and help your body repair itself. Bagels with eggs, salmon, and avocado is our go to option – delicious and nutritious! 
Treat yourself to a soak in a warm (not scalding) bath with a generous sprinkle of Epsom salts — your muscles will thank you. You can elevate your legs too to give them some extra help! 
Keep chugging that water or sports drink and pay attention to the colour of your pee. Weird we know, but seriously, it's an indicator of your hydration level. 
Lastly, embrace sleep; your body craves it, and you certainly deserved it. 
Compression wear? Your call! Some find it helpful for recovery. 

The following days 

Your body might still be feeling the aftermath, so keep hydrating as it will help you fight off post-race stiffness and toxins. Keep fuelling up with good food too as that’ll get your body feeling back in tip top condition. 
Now is the time to give those muscles some TLC too. Foam rolling is your friend; target those tight spots like calves, quads, or hamstrings. And speaking of TLC, now is a good time to book a sports massage! Research suggests it aids recovery, just remember to hydrate well post-massage or rolling. 
When you're ready, indulge in a gentle jog or walk. It'll get the blood flowing without pushing your body too hard. 

The following week 

Welcome to the recovery week! This is where you can begin to reintroduce running, only if your muscles permit. You may want to mix it up and try some cross-training, swimming, yoga, Pilates, or anything that works different muscles as it will help strengthen your body overall and give your body a break from running. 
The key thing this week is to listen to your body; if it says rest, you rest! Avoid rushing back into intense workouts as they could do more harm than good. 
Need some extra help recovering from a half marathon and think you could benefit from a massage? Contact our friendly team today, we’d love to help you! 
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