Recovery Phase 2: Within One Hour After Finishing
Once you’ve settled a bit, you might start to feel hungry. This is a great time to refuel. Most races will have foods such as bananas, bagels, avocados and sports bars. Grab whatever suits your fancy and stuff your face. But maybe don’t try anything brand new—your stomach will likely be more sensitive than usual.
Hopefully your training worked and you resisted pushing yourself into an overuse injury. But if you start to feel pain after the adrenaline fades, get some ice and facilitate the healing right away.
More: How to Ice an Injury Properly
Recovery Phase 3: One or Two Days After the Race
The next morning, you’re probably going to wake up pretty sore in places. Your muscles will need to stay hydrated in order to recover quickly. Have some coconut water and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to replenish.
Get a Massage
The day after your half marathon, book yourself an appointment with the nearest foam roller. This will reduce the pains of delayed onset muscle soreness. Spend some quality time on the parts that hurt the most, like your calves, quads or hamstrings.
More: Half Marathon Advice From Everyday Runners
The deep-tissue massage of a foam roller speeds healing by drawing blood ﬂow to damaged muscles. Remember to hydrate afterwards.
Take a Recovery Run
If you feel up to it, jog or walk around the block. It might seem like a dumb idea to go for a run on day-after-half-marathon legs, but it’s actually a good idea.
Loosen your tight quads and calves to speed up healing, and you don’t have to make it a 5-miler. Just ten or twenty minutes is enough.
More: Recovery Tips for Runners
What you do after this is up to you, but I recommend getting back into the swing of things as soon as possible. After about a week you should be ﬁne to get back on your running schedule.
You may want to start training for another race, or you may want some down time. Either way, a good recovery will leave you with the most positive memory of your accomplishment.
Sign up for your next race.