You’ve run the race, collected your bling and have proudly shared your finish line pictures on every social media platform possible. Now it’s time to enjoy the spa or lounge around and sight-see; or you might find yourself showering, packing and hitting the road within hours after your race.
I did the latter after spending five fun-filled days at Disneyland for The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. I took on two of the three races – the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday – and found myself on a four-hour flight across the country heading home to Atlanta shortly after taking off my running shoes.
It wasn’t until I was at the race expo that I realized my race recovery might be an issue, so I asked the experts (Dimity McDowell Davis and Sarah Bowen Shea from AnotherMotherRunner.com; Betsy Hughes, co-owner of Track Shack Events; and Tara Gidus, the Official runDisney Nutritionist) during the “Tips and Tricks to Prepare for Race Day” panel for some race recovery travel tips.
I wanted to be able to walk by the time I got off of the plane – and with these helpful nuggets of wisdom I did.
Post Race Recovery Traveling Tips
1. Choose the Aisle Seat
If you can, snag an aisle seat to stretch your legs out while still sitting in your seat. Aisles are my favorite anyway so that was an easy one for me.
2. Stay Hydrated
Just because the race is over doesn’t mean you should stop taking in liquids. Your body needs them for recovery – and even more so when you’re traveling. Drink plenty of water.
3. Walk the Aisle
You should plan to get up and out of your seat – especially if you’ve got a long flight. As tempting as it is to stay put, the panel advised getting up periodically and move around.
4. Wear Compression Sleeves/Socks
All of the experts suggested rocking my compression gear AFTER the race and on my plane ride home to increase circulation and blood flow, as well as to help decrease cramping. They make quite a fashion statement, too.
5. Refuel Right After the Race
It’s important to refuel your body after any race. Chocolate milk is a great go-to drink to replenish your body with carbohydrates and protein immediately after your run.
6. Make Time for a Massage
Many airports have massage stations where you can catch a quickie. The panel suggested requesting a leg massage while you’re waiting for your plane.
7. Roll Out
Foam roll, that is. Make sure to use a foam roller or stick and lightly give your leg muscles some tender love and care once you’ve arrived home.
8. Take a Recovery Run
Plan to do an easy recover run, walk, or spin the day after you’ve traveled to keep those muscles moving and to speed up recovery time.
I traveled by plane, but these tips would work for other modes of transportation, too. If you’re driving make sure to break up your ride with some stops to walk around and stretch your legs.