Recovery is an essential part of running, especially for runners who train and run a half marathon. We put our bodies through months of higher mileage, speed work, strength training, foam rolling, and watching our nutrition, and then push ourselves right to the edge of our physical limit for a half marathon race. Many runners start thinking about their new goals and next race the moment they cross the finish line. However, in order to make the most of our training, runners must emphasise recovery after races. Here are 5 things you can do to help you recover after the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon.
So what are the most important things to do right after running a half marathon? Two things: refuel and rehydrate. First, walk 10-15 minutes to cool down and stop sweating. Get electrolytes and calories into your system to jumpstart your recovery. Water should provide plenty of electrolytes but Gatorade will dump even more into your system. Eat something with carbohydrates and protein. Bonus points if you also take in sugar to replenish glycogen. An energy bar usually works well for this.
A few hours after the half marathon race is a perfect time to take a salt bath. This will help your muscles relax and allow you to sleep well during the night. Sleep is our best recovery tool, but often we have trouble for even a few nights post race because the body has so much adrenaline and cortisol shooting through it. If a hot bath still isn’t enough, try consuming a magnesium drink before bed.
Most runners begin to experience soreness a day or two after finishing a half marathon. During this time period, it is important to continue to prioritise stretching. Try stretching when you first wake up and again at the end of the day.
As your muscles begin to recover, completing some simple foam rolling exercise might be of benefit if you find any particularly sore or tight spots. Rest is especially critical during this portion of your half marathon recovery plan, and most runners benefit from taking these first few days completely off from running.
A lot of runners usually transition back into running with light runs or cross training exercises like cycling, swimming, and hiking. However, we recommend prioritising strength training to help you recover, just not heavy weight lifting. Do bodyweight exercises like pushups, pull-ups, squats, hill climbing, or crunches.
You can expect to experience pain in muscles you didn’t know you had 2 weeks after the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon. As you got tired during the marathon, your posture and gait may have adjusted, relying on muscles you don’t normally use much when running or walking. The pain may be delayed and can take up to 2 weeks.
You may want to schedule a relaxing professional massage for a day or two after the marathon to relieve knots and stiff muscles. Gentle massage is key, you don’t want to further damage muscles that are repairing themselves.
Want to join the best running events in Dubai? Check out the events below:
The Mai Dubai City Half Marathon is one of the most popular running events in Dubai. The next Mai Dubai City Half Marathon will be held on the 30th of October 2022. To get more details about the next Mai Dubai City Half Marathon event, follow us at @promosevensports on Instagram! You can now also register for the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon here.
The Mai Dubai Community Run has just concluded last 26th of March. The event will be held again in November 2022. The Mai Dubai Community Run has 2.5 km, 5km, and 10km races available and it’s a family-friendly event which is great if you want to bring your family with you.
The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay was held in DIFC last 9th of February 2022. The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is the only corporate race in the world and anyone can enter as a team of 10 for a great team-building activity.
It’s very common for runners to experience soreness or stiffness after running. Maybe you’re training for the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon or you’re trying to increase your distance or intensity – it’s normal to feel sore the next day. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) usually goes away on its own after a few days, but here are a few ways to help speed up the process.
Yes, we know it sucks but staying on your couch or bed and not doing anything is the worst thing you can do when you’re sore. This is because activity increases circulation, improving blood flow throughout the body. It’s thought that increased blood flow and nutrients to the muscle speed up the repair process which helps reduce soreness.
This doesn’t mean you should go back to your regularly scheduled workout programming – we’re talking about gentle activities like going for a slow walk or stretches. Don’t do anything intense since you don’t want to do more damage to your muscle fibers.
Foam rolling is all about the myofascial release which relieves tension in the muscle’s connective tissue. If any of your friends or trainers mention that foam rolling is great for soreness, listen to them. Research found that rolling out your muscles like dough can help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. It can also improve performance in subsequent workouts.
Invest in a good foam roller and spend about 10 to 15 minutes with it each day. You can make it part of your warm-up, cool-down and on days that you don’t work out, part of your overall recovery.
Before we get to the next tip, we would first like to invite you to join the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon on the 30th of October at DIFC. The Mai Dubai City Half Marathon is the most iconic half marathon race in the UAE! The race is open to all ages and runners also have the chance to choose between a 5km race, 10km or 21km race. Register here!
You’ve probably heard of ice baths before to reduce muscle but we suggest trying hot and cold temperatures instead. An unconventional method of muscle recovery is combining the benefits of both cold and hot therapies into one method. This is called contrast therapy. This works by increasing blood circulation around the injured muscle which can help heal post-workout inflammation faster than traditional cold therapy alone.
We know this sounds obvious but staying hydrated is an important aspect of muscle recovery. Water keeps the fluids moving through your system which eases inflammation, flushes out waste products and delivers nutrients to your muscles. The trouble is, it can be tricky to know if and when you’re dehydrated. Therefore, we suggest looking at the color of your urine. Medium or dark yellow signals dehydration while pale yellow means you’re hydrated. If you joined the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon, you may have noticed that we provide a lot of water across the route – this is because hydrating is important before, during and after running.
Eat a well-balanced meal 1 to 2 hours before or after your run. You’ll want to ensure that you get a well-balanced meal in your system. If you plan to run in the morning go with eggs, veggies, whole wheat toast, oatmeal, or yogurt to ensure that you have enough energy. For lunch or dinner, go with salad, sandwich, pasta or anything with high protein and a good balance of carbohydrates. This will provide your body with the final nutrients it needs to top off the recovery process. If you’re training for a half marathon in Dubai, having a balanced meal will be very crucial to be able to have the strength to finish your race.
Want to join the best running events in Dubai? We got you! We organise the best running events in Dubai. Go check it out:
The Mai Dubai City Half Marathon is one of the most popular running events in Dubai. The 5th anniversary edition of the MDCHM will be held on the 29th of October 2023. Register now and follow us at @promosevensports on Instagram to keep up with our latest announcements.
The Mai Dubai Community Run previously called the Skechers Performance Run has 2.5 km, 5km, and 10km races available and it’s a family-friendly event which is great if you want to bring your family with you.
No city in Dubai has a better combination of nature, love of sport and iconic infrastructure for hosting a beach run than in Palm Jumeirah. Come and explore and experience Palm West Beach in a whole new way.
The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay was held last 9th February 2023. The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is the only corporate race in the world and anyone can enter as a team of 10 for a great team-building activity.