- Static Stretches- Stretching helps to lengthen muscles, reduce muscle soreness and joint stiffness. Follow the stretching guide below holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeating each 2-3 times. Never bounce when stretching. Aim to stretch the muscle to the point of tightness. Stretches should not cause discomfort or pain.
- Cool Down- All your runs should start with a warm up and finish with a cool down. Aim to finish your run with a five minute jog or brisk walk to help return your heart rate to normal, reduce the temperature of your muscles and help reduce stiffness and soreness.
- Foam Roller- Get your hands on a foam roller- possibly the best investment for any budding runner! Foam rollers stretch muscles, improve circulation, break down scar tissue and soft tissue adhesions. 5 minutes of your own DIY sports massage will put you on the road to recovery following a heavy session.
- Hit the Shower- Have a warm shower or bath straight after your run and change into a fresh set of clothes.
- Sleep- Possibly the most important factor that manages health and fitness as hormones released when we sleep influence cell growth, repair and immune function.
- PRICE- If you sustain a minor soft tissue injury follow the PRICE protocol; Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. For more serious injuries contact your local Chartered Physiotherapist.
- Rehydrate and Refuel- Replace the fluid lost by taking on water or an isotonic drink and refuel your body with a carbohydrate/ protein snack within 30 minutes of exercise. If you cannot stomach solid food straight after a run try some chocolate milk!!
By Louise Mulhare, Chartered Physiotherapist in Private Practice.
The ISCP is an official supporter of the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. To find a chartered physiotherapist near you visit www.findaphysio.ie. For further info,contact the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists on 01 402 2148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.