How do I recover after a long run during marathon training?

Earlier this week, I talked about what my prep for my 19 mile long run looked like on Sunday. Today, I want to go over how I recovered from this run. Especially since I’ve been feeling more soreness when I’m not running and I’m trying to prevent any injuries.

Sunday’s 19 miles was an awesome run, a 10:54 average pace and the last three miles I speed up to right around race pace. But I knew I need to spend extra time on my recovery with the combination of running strong and the elevation.

One of the best thing about Mike picking me up from my long runs (besides not having to drive) is that he brings along a smoothie for me too. Even though I took in 400 calories worth of GUs on the run, I also burned approximately 1,600 calories. I always try to get in a good source of protein and carbs after a run (usually via a smoothie) but it’s most important after this run. This week’s smoothie was unflavored protein powder, a banana and a cup of mixed berries.

Once we got home, I got right to taking care of my body. I did the Runners Love Yoga post-run flow and I could tell how much my body had gone through. I could feel the stretch even more than usual especially with it came to stretching my calves and hips. Even after just ten minutes of yoga, I was feeling a little bit more loosened up so I moved onto foam rolling.

I’ve written before about my full-body foam rolling routine but what I really focused on after this long run was my legs. I wasn’t feeling any tightness in my upper body so I decided to focus on what was feeling sore. Between the full-sized foam roller and stick roller, I got in deep to my leg muscles and tried to hit them from multiple angles.

One thing I wish I had done was thrown my legs up against the wall. I did this regularly during Twin Cities Marathon training and it was a stretch for my hamstrings and also felt really relaxing to just lay with my feet up. I’m hoping to start incorporating this more in post-run recovery.

While I was doing my yoga and foam rolling, Mike was cooking me more food! I was starting to feel more hungry as I did my immediate post-run recovery so it was nice to finish up with it and have hot food waiting for me. My go-to post-run is usually a breakfast egg dish and this week it was avocado toast with two eggs over easy. I don’t really have the appetite for anything too heavy after a run but I do like to get in a decent amount of calories and a good mix of fat, proteins and carbs.

The rest of the day, I took it pretty easy. I soaked in an epsom salt bath after lunch and then napped for a couple of hours (with my legs propped up on a pillow). Mike was nice enough to cook dinner Sunday night so I just got to take Vinnie on an easy walk and relax the rest of the day. I pretty much take it easy after I’m done foam rolling and stretching, just hanging out in compression socks and watching TV.

What’s your post-long run routine? Let me know in the comments!