Many runners may not be aware that, when they’re not running, they must still treat the muscles in their legs with the utmost importance. This is particularly true after completing a run when soothing tender or aching muscles is vital. It may not be because of what occurred during the run, but rather what didn’t happen beforehand. Here are five tips for maintaining muscle health for runners.
Staying hydrated is critical, not only before the run begins but also 10-15 minutes immediately following as well. Make sure you’re drinking at least 8 ounces of water before starting and, if you’re planning a longer run, bring along a water bottle to prevent dehydration.
While it may be tempting to stretch before running, this should typically occur 20-35 minutes after finishing. Before starting, perform relaxation exercises instead by using gentle ankle rolls, knee circles, and hip rotations.
3. Use easy strides
When you begin running with easy strides and gently increase your pace, less soreness will occur in your muscles. Do not start with a fast or hard pace because it’s too hard on your muscles. You can gradually increase your speed as you feel more comfortable throughout your run.
4. Carbs and protein replenishment
Your muscles are going to need rebuilding, so it's essential to consume carbohydrates and proteins during at least one of the following meals after your run. By fueling your body in this way, you're allowing yourself to experience a natural energy boost, especially if you're eating four carbohydrates for each single serving of protein.
There are a wide variety of massages available for runners, each aiding in the recovery and reduction of muscle soreness. Additionally, massages also help with the prevention of injuries, if the runner gets them on a weekly or monthly basis.
Final thoughts about muscle health
For those who are looking for additional methods to aid in the relaxation and stretching of muscles, the Pranamat ECO can help to relax or warm-up legs for running. By following the tips outlined above, as well as utilizing a therapeutic massage mat, it’s possible to achieve optimal muscle health.