Run, recover, fly!

Run, recover, fly! – Tips for muscle recovery after running

Why is recovery after running so important?

Recovery after running is just as important as the miles you put in. Indeed, in recent years it has been a key area for top athletes looking for that little bit more.

The basics of muscle recovery after running are simple: focus on three things after a run: muscle glycogen replenishment, muscle repair and hydration. Running depletes muscle glycogen so look to replenish this with a protein as that is rich in amino acids, which will help with muscle recovery after running.

Drinks like Enhanced Recovery - - contain 1600mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 20g of protein which support a runner’s body muscle recovery after running. It also keeps you hydrated. Keeping hydrated during exercise and after is also just as important.

John Brewer is a sports professor who explains why hydration is such an important part of running muscle recovery. "Even a two to three-degree increase in body temperature, from a resting value of around 38°C, can cause physical and psychological problems when exercising," says Professor John Brewer. "The body’s main defence mechanism is sweating, since the evaporation of sweat causes body heat to be lost. An individual’s sweat rate will depend on the intensity of the exercise they are doing, and the climate, with hot and humid conditions making heat loss much harder."

Scientists have shown that physical and mental performance suffers when more than 2% of body weight has been lost by sweating - for an individual weighing 75kg, this is equivalent to 1.5 litres of sweat. Scientists have also shown that when exercise intensity is high, and in hot and humid conditions, sweating can exceed three litres per hour, so unless a sensible hydration strategy is followed, the effects of dehydration could be felt within half an hour. In less extreme conditions sweating between one and two litres an hour is more common, so in around an hour the impact of dehydration will become apparent.

For more running recovery tips visit our tips and advice page. To find out more about group running, find a running group near you.