What are the best recovery methods after you have trashed your legs in a long race?? (Read 465 times)

    So Sunday I ran as hard as I could, then even harder at the end in order to achieve a goal.  I have never pushed myself that hard in a race.

    2 days later, my legs are trashed.    Calves are staying pretty tight and sore, but worse is the upper legs which are really sore and loaded with lactic acid it seems. Walking is Okay, going up the stairs is really tough.   I have never trashed my legs this bad before!

    I have another race (8-miler) scheduled for this coming Saturday, and while I realize full recovery in 7 days os it will not be a PR performance, I'd like to get myself in as decent a shape as possible to have an enjoyable race, if not that fast.


    So to the point:  What are the best recovery methods after you have trashed your legs in a long race and you have sore legs + lactic acid buildup?    Please share some recovery ideas :-)


    The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞

    an amazing likeness

      Walk.  Light jogs. Get moving.  Warm soaks in a tub.

      I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)

      Super Pro Lurker

        Foam roller!!!


          Runners run.

            Ice bath.

            Sports massage.


              Beer.....it doesn't help the legs, but you feel better about them.

              Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.


                I'm with MilkTruck, for me the best recovery is to keep moving.  I didn't run yesterday, but I did walk 3 miles.  I'll run this evening, shooting for 6, but we'll see how my legs feel when I get out there.  Throughout the day I've been trying to keep moving as much as possible, I get pretty stiff if I sit too long.  Right now my worst spot is the upper part of the backs of my thighs (no, I don't know proper muscle names yet lol).


                My running blog

                Goals | sub-18 5k | sub-3 marathon

                  Good replies so far. :-)  And to this point I have done:  As much self-massage as possible, as much moving around as possible, a 2-miler yesterday at an easy 10:00 per mile pace, a couple hot baths, and the beer. (only 2 though, all things in moderation during recovery!)


                  A lady at work mentioned 'ice baths' too, is it too late for that, or would that still be effective 2 days post race?  And the foam roller, I forgot about that succer... I have one, so I will get it out of the closet. :-)


                  And PS. To Dave, that is why I said "upper legs" as well, because I am not familiar with all the muscle group names either!  The 'front part of my upper legs', that is where I am suffering most.  The 'back parts of the upper legs' are in good shape, not sore. Big grin


                  The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞

                  And in the end...

                    Yep - active recovery is best.  Keep moving and the muscles will loosen up eventually.  Ice baths can help if you take them shortly after the race.


                    For what it's worth regarding 'lactic acid'... it's cleared from your body within hours of a race.  The residual muscle effects are from microtears in the muscle fiber that takes time to repair.


                    Fuck it. I'm gonna PR this fall. Let's do this.


                      Foam roller, and I went to a cross fit class and did the non-leg exercises.




                      Half: 1:48 (March 3rd, 2013)

                      Full: 4:05:40 (March 17th, 2013)


                      2013/2014 Goals:

                      Sub-4:00 hour Marathon

                      Sub- 125 pounds
                      Sub- 1:45 hour half.


                        The lactic acid part does not cause soreness the days after.


                        if we're talking injury, ice is ok the first 24-48 hours. If it's not an injury, I now lean in the opposite direction and use heat. In my case, it helps with tight muscles.


                        walking may help if you can't run.


                         What are the best recovery methods after you have trashed your legs in a long race and you have sore legs + lactic acid buildup?    Please share some recovery ideas :-)


                          Movement, esp. walking. I usually have chocolate milk and other fluids plus food with protein near the finish. Cold bath after I'm home or dunk feet and legs in stream or bucket if one's available.


                          Sleep, esp. deep sleep, helps as much as anything afterward. That's supposedly when a lot of healing happens.


                          (and agree that it's likely muscle tears, definitely not lactate or lactic acid causing soreness)

                          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                            Rest. The body knows what it's doing.

                            (On the mental side: complaining and whimpering help for some odd reason. Keeps the attention on me a little longer as well. That's a good thing. I miss the crowd support and adoration the days right after the race...)



                              Too late for an ice bath, I would think.


                              Gentle running will help. The cure for the sore muscle is more of what made it sore.

                              Ostrich runner

                                Purple drank.