Your Minute-by-Minute Guide to Recovery

When you run or workout for more than an hour, you body requires some extra care to bounce back. The recovery process starts seconds after you finish your run and isn't complete until one or two days later.

Runners who don't recover properly put themselves at risk for injury, and at the very least, lingering soreness. When you finish your run take steps to recover the right way by following this minute-by-minute guide.

Within 5 Minutes After Completing Workout

Jog or walk to slow your heart rate and bring your body to a resting state.

Within 10 to 15 Minutes of Completing Workout

Rehydrate with 16 to 20 ounces of fluid. If you've lost more than a pound of sweat, drink more.

More: Hydration Guide

Spend 10 to 15 minutes stretching your calves, hips and quadriceps as well as any tight spots.

Within 15 to 30 Minutes After Completing Workout

Ice your achy muscles or hop into an ice bath of 55 to 60 degrees. Dip your lower half into the tub and stay under for 10 to 15 minutes. An ice bath is believed to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling.

Refuel your energy supply with a snack, such as yogurt or a banana, or drink a protein shake or a glass of chocolate milk.

Within 45 Minutes to One Hour After Completing Workout

Refuel with carbohydrate and protein, preferably something that has a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio (i.e., 3 to 4 grams of carbs for every gram of protein).

More: How to Refuel After a Hard Workout

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About the Author

Amanda Casanova

Amanda Casanova is a writer and journalist living in the Dallas, Texas area. She has worked for the Houston Chronicle, the Abilene Reporter-News and the Galveston County Daily News. She is an active runner and regularly competes in races in north Texas. She is currently training for her first half marathon. She blogs at and tweets at @acasanova10.

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