Post Run Recovery Tips to Keep Your Legs Strong

photo of a man going for a run

No matter whether you’re training for a marathon or just enjoy running a few times each week, you need to keep your legs and body in great shape to keep up that kind of repetition and volume. While you may end your run on that amazing high, it’s important to find post run recovery tips to help your muscles cool down properly and heal up between runs.

Today, let’s explore post run recovery tips to keep your legs strong. Following these running recovery tips can keep you up and going instead of stuck on the sidelines!

Post Run Recovery Tips to Follow

While it’s easy to end your run on an endorphin high, your post workout recovery routine is just as important as your technique and training itself. Having a proper cool down and recovery routine in place is what keeps your body in top condition, allowing you to push yourself further while avoiding common sports injuries that runners may face like pulled muscles, torn tendons, and more.

To help you keep at the top of your game, check out these post run recovery tips to keep your legs strong:

  • Cool down properly
  • Stretching before and after running
  • Use a foam roller
  • Invest in athlete recovery tools like a zero gravity chair
  • Rehydrate
  • Eat a nutritious meal
  • Get enough sleep to boost recovery

Establish a Runner Cool Down Routine

The first up on our list of post run recovery tips to keep your legs strong is to have a proper runner cool down routine. You can’t end your run by simply stopping. This can lead to muscle tension, cramping, or experiencing painful ailments like Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Instead, after your run you should lightly jog or walk at least half a mile to help your leg muscles cool down without tensing up.

Having a runner cool down routine helps redistribute your blood flow throughout the body, lowers your breath and heart rate more gradually, allows your body temperature to drop back down, and flushes metabolic waste from your system. It’s essential to keeping your legs strong and helping with how the body heals itself.

Stretching Before and After Running

Continuing to explore post run recovery tips, let’s talk about stretching after running. While you might have thought stretching was an activity you do just to warm up, you’d be sorely mistaken. The fact is, running recovery tips start before you take your first steps and continue after you finish.

Before you begin your run, take the time to warm up by walking or jogging a little then doing some dynamic stretching like walking lunges to prepare your muscles. After your run, complete your cool down routine then finish off with static stretches to keep muscles loose and limber. Static stretches that work well as post run recovery tips include standing quad stretches and toe touches (sitting or standing).

Use a Foam Roller

Having a foam roller can be a helpful tool as you follow post run recovery tips. Studies have shown that using a foam roller for even one minute can improve an athlete's range of motion. This makes them ideal for use both before and after a run to prevent sports injuries and help the body recover after physical activity.

Rolling out the calves, quads, lower back, and upper back after a run can help work out knots, stiff muscles, and improve blood flow throughout the body. The benefits of good blood help the body rehydrate muscle tissue and recover faster.

Invest In Athlete Recovery Tools

While a foam roller is useful, there are other recovery tools for athletes that should make any list of post run recovery tips to keep your legs strong. Tools like portable massage guns and infrared mats are popular with runners (and all athletes) for their ability to speed up the recovery process and keep you feeling your best. What about recovery tools to use at home, however, for a full body recovery routine?

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better full body recovery tool for athletes to use as part of your running recovery tips than a luxury zero gravity chair. These modern recliners bypass the shortcoming of traditional reclining chairs that often cause pain from sitting too long and, instead, offer a plethora of potential health benefits.

The health benefits of zero gravity chairs stem from the zero gravity position itself. Reclining in the zero gravity position elevates the legs above the heart level and distributes weight evenly along the body. This drastically reduces pressure on the lower back, alleviating back pain and leg pain often experienced by runners post workout. Elevating the legs above the heart level is also an effective method for how to improve blood circulation in legs and feet that runners greatly benefit from.

Some of the bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners enhance the experience, as well. For example, a heated zero gravity chair helps promote better blood circulation, facilitating faster bodily healing than it could achieve on its own. Zero gravity chairs with massage features keep muscles loose and help deepen your relaxation.

Rehydrate After a Run

The next entry on our list of post run recovery tips to keep your legs strong is to stay hydrated. Adults are made up of roughly 55% to 60% water. This means staying hydrated is essential for your body to operate at optimal levels! After going on a run, especially a long one, it’s natural for your body to be a little dehydrated. The important thing is to immediately replenish fluids after your run to balance electrolytes and help the body recover.

Eat a Nutritious Meal

Just like rehydrating is important, eating a nutritious meal makes our list of post run recovery tips, as well. Your post-run meal or snack should include both protein and carbs to help your body refuel. The best time to eat after a run is within about 30 minutes. This is because our bodies are eager to start the healing process but require nutrients to do so efficiently.

Get Restful Sleep After Running

Last, but certainly not least, on our list of post run recovery tips is to get enough restful sleep. According to the CDC, almost 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. Sleep deprivation is not only counterproductive to these running recovery tips, but it could also be hazardous to your overall health and wellness.

To help you unwind for the night, try implementing a relaxing night time routine. This means shutting down screens like the tv or your phone, starting to clear your mind, and allowing your body to calm down. Zero gravity chairs make excellent post run recovery tools here, as well, to deepen your relaxation and help you prepare to get better sleep quality. In addition to unwinding for the night, having a consistent routine or when you wake up and when you go to bed can be helpful to stay well rested and healthy.

We hope this guide to post run recovery tips to keep your legs strong has given you some ideas to try out. Keeping your body in top condition is essential for athletes of any level. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just starting out with a daily run routine, finding effective ways to recover after is essential. Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and consider choosing a zero gravity chair to enhance how the body heals itself to stay on your feet and ready to go!

Want to learn more about zero gravity healing benefits for athletes? Check out these resources: