Keep your cool and stretch it out

The Vhi Women's Mini Marathon is just around the corner! On race day the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) will host a cool down area, massage tent, and quick assessment centre. You can also find us at the Vhi Relaxarena in Merrion Square where Chartered Physiotherapists will be doing post-race stretching and foam rolling exercises. But before the event, there are some post training recovery strategies that you can do to make sure you get to the start line of the Mini Marathon injury free

• 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.

• 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.

• Foam Roller- Get your hands on a foam roller- possibly the best investment for any budding runner! Foam rollers stretch muscles, improve circulation, breakdown 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

•Consult your Chartered Physiotherapist if you need post-race recovery advice, or treatment for ‘niggles’ or injuries that may have developed from the exertions of the marathon.

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Triona Driscoll