Post Comrades Recovery
Firstly, a huge congratulations to all those that ran Comrades this Sunday.
You may sometimes forget to acknowledge the hard work you have put in.
Whether you broke a personal best, dragged yourself over the line or never managed to finish, I am hoping you had a few celebratory drinks for showing up with courage xx
If you thought Comrades journey was over, the truth is, you are 90% there!
Recovery is a vital part of any race, and with Comrades listed in the top 10 toughest Ultra-Marathons around the globe, it is more prevalent than ever.
The general recovery is 1 day of no running for every 2km. I personally believe it depends on your running experience, the day of the race as well as your mind set. Consider taking a month off running then focus on shorter distances, develop your speed, and build your strength and agility.
Off-seasons may be unnecessary unless you have a nagging injury or are experiencing burnout. This break will keep you running while recharging the batteries and providing the time necessary to improve weaknesses.
Here is a 7 day guideline after Comrades to help with recovery
- Soak in a hot tub for 10-15min and stretch well afterwards.
- Stretching should be static and involve 3 rounds of 30 seconds per muscle group
- Eat fruits, carbohydrates, and protein. The Carbs and protein will help repair the muscle damage while the fruits will give you a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants to help boost your immune
- Light massage will help loosen your muscles. Don’t schedule a deep tissue massage yet, just a gentle effleurage massage or a light rolling with the roller
- Time to start with some exercise. Swimming is an excellent form of active recovery. Focus on a slow to moderate swim broken into swimming 50m and then walking in the water for 50m
- Now is the time you can get a deep tissue massage, enjoy J.
- Contrast bath: If you have 2 baths, fill one with hot (hot bath temp) water and the other with ice water (cold enough so some ice still doesn’t melt) and put your whole lower body into the cold. Hold for 5 minutes and then switch to the hot for 5 mins. Repeat 2 or 3 times, ending with cold. This helps rush blood in and out of the area, which facilitates healing. The hot bath can be replaced with hot shower if need be.
- Epsom Salt Bath. About an hour before bed, massage your legs out with the stick or self massage and then soak in a hot/warm bath with 3 cups epsom salt and 1 cup baking soda for 10-15 minutes. After the soak, stretch real well and relax.
Lastly, Ultra marathons not only effect the skeletal system but also the immune system. Research shows 67% of runners suffer an upper respiratory infection within 2 weeks of an ultra marathon like comrades. So keep healthy, eat well and rest up.
Happy Recovery all you brilliant Comrades competitors xx
Claudia dos Santos & Shane Litvin