Five Things to Do After a Long-Distance Run

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Lace-up your shoes, go for a run, take off shoes, and end of the session. Sound familiar? If your run time follows this pattern, you are not alone. Most runners admit they give little attention to recovery and cooling off after a long run. However, if you want to improve performance or are prone to injuries, you are doing yourself a disservice by skipping these recovery methods:

  1. Cool Down Walk/Jog

Warm-ups and cool-downs tend to be low on a runner’s priority list. Most of us squeeze in morning runs before the kids wake up or chase the sunlight hours after work. Understandably, we want to commit as much of this allotted running time for actual running. However, we do ourselves a disservice by not allowing our cardiovascular and muscular systems some time to ease out of running before changing to a physical task with much lower demand, for example, commuting to work, eating dinner, or checking Instagram. A proper cool-down with low-intensity motion like walking, leg swings, or mobility drills will expedite recovery by clearing metabolic waste and easing tired muscles.

  1. Rehydrate

We lose a lot of water through sweat when we run, which is fairly obvious to all runners who notice their shirts and shorts dripping at the end of a run. Less obvious, we lose a large amount of electrolytes when we sweat. Replenishing our electrolyte reserves can assist in our recovery. Look for recovery drinks that contain sodium (reduces cramps), potassium (assists in muscle function), calcium (assists in muscle and nerve function), magnesium (helps recover muscles), and chloride (needed to optimize sodium usage). Avoid sugar-heavy drinks, as these can have a diuretic effect.

Click here for three additional methods to incorporate into your post workout routine to facilitate improved running recovery on your next long run.

If you experience any aches or pains or something doesn’t feel quite right as you run, Athletico is available to evaluate you. Start with a free assessment and let their team fully evaluate your condition so they can recommend the best treatment option for you. There is no cost or obligation. They just want you to start feeling better so you can cross the finish line on race day. Free assessments are available in-clinic and online through their telehealth platform. Click here to request your free assessment.

Athletico Physical Therapy is a leading provider of the highest quality orthopedic rehabilitation services to communities, employers, and athletes. With the recent acquisition of Pivot Physical Therapy, Athletico operates more than 900 locations in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Their comprehensive services include physical and occupational therapy, workers’ compensation and onsite employer services, athletic training, and over 50 specialty services, including free assessments, pelvic health, spine health, hand therapy, concussion management, and more. For more information, or to find an Athletico clinic near you, visit