After you cross the finish line you will be tempted to lie or sit down and, let’s be honest, you deserve a good rest break!
But trust me when I tell you, once you decide to get up after 5-10 minutes of sitting you will regret doing it in the first place. Sitting or lying down right after a run causes your muscles to tighten up and allows the lactic acid to pool in your muscles, leaving you with some stiff and sore muscles and joints that make walking to the car a chore. Instead, stay on your feet and walk for the next 10-15 minutes to allow your heart rate to slowly come back down and to help flush the lactic acid out of your muscles. While you are walking, grab water and a snack that will help your body rehydrate, replenish electrolytes and provide the carbohydrates and protein that it needs to recover. Keep the snack small and aim for easily digestible carbohydrates and proteins such as bananas, oranges, pretzels, peanut butter, granola bars etc. If you are someone who feels famished after a long run, make sure to eat and drink slowly to avoid stomach cramps. If you don’t have any appetite at all, still try to get some sort of nutrition to help your body as it starts the recovery process.