A long run has the uncanny ability to strip away your self-doubts, boost your self-esteem, and make you feel accomplished for completing what most people can't. It's a wonderful feeling; that elation is a major reason why we continue to run and pursue longer distances, and faster finish times.
But what happens what you're done with your long run?
If you're like most runners, as soon as you stop running, you grab a glass of water and take a shower. Maybe you do some light stretching to loosen up.
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Ask yourself: is that the best way to warm down from a long run? Is there a better way to boost your recovery, prevent injuries, and ensure you're ready for your next workout?
Yes, there is. And it has nothing to do with stretching.
Introducing: the "Post-Long-Run Routine"
As human beings, we're creatures of habit. Once we develop a habit (often unknowingly), we stick to it and have a hard time changing.
Just think about how you take a shower. I bet it's the same process every single time: shampoo, soap, wash your face, and you're done. Would you ever change that routine and do things out of order? Of course not, it's a routine that's built into your day.
We're going to do the same thing with how you approach your long-run recovery.
After a long run, the real recovery starts. Instead of guessing what to do, here's your step-by-step recovery process for the first five minutes, hour and rest of the day to make sure you're as recovered as possible.