How do professionals recover from running?

How do professionals recover from running?

October 21, 2023

How do professionals recover from running?

How Professional Athletes Recover From Running

How Professional Athletes Recover From Running

Running can put a great deal of strain on your body, so it’s essential to take good care of yourself in order to prevent injuries. To maximize recovery, it is beneficial to create an effective recovery routine that includes rest, stretching, nutrition and sleep.

Rest and Recovery

Running athletes understand the value of taking a rest day to recover. Running causes microscopic tears in muscle fibres, triggering an inflammatory response within the body. A good rest day can make all the difference for recovery. That reaction allows the muscle to repair itself stronger so it can handle greater demands in the future. That is why you need 48-72 hours of recovery between exercise sessions. However, not all rest days are created equal and some people require more than others. For instance, marathoners who typically work out seven days a week may require more rest than regular runners with more relaxed schedules.

Professional athletes typically take at least one full rest day each week and one to two active recovery days. This gives their bodies the time they need to fully recuperate from running while also keeping their training schedules on track while allowing them to enjoy other aspects of life and fitness routines as well. If you’re struggling with recovery, consider visiting Back on Track Physical Therapy for professional assistance.


Professional athletes often engage in rigorous training and routines that would intimidate most of us. Examples include gymnasts, yogis, contortionists and martial artists. But they also take time to stretch before and after their runs, in order to increase flexibility, improve range of motion and provide relief from sore muscles. Stretching is an integral part of recovery from running, particularly for runners who tend to experience tightness in their hips, hamstrings and calves. Without stretching properly after a hard run, you could put yourself at risk for back issues and soreness in the affected areas.

Stretching typically involves reaching and holding a position for 30-60 seconds in order to lengthen muscles and the connective tissue (fascia) surrounding them. The most popular type of stretching is static stretching. For those experiencing more severe pain, such as foot and ankle pain or back pain and sciatica, it is recommended to consult with a professional therapist.


No matter your level of experience with running, nutrition is a critical component for recovering after each run. Runners need plenty of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to fuel their bodies’ recovery processes. Carbohydrates are essential for post-run recovery as they replenish glycogen stores and give you energy. Additionally, make sure you get enough protein, which plays an important role in muscle growth and repair; additionally, ensure your diet contains whole foods like vegetables, fruits and lean meats as well as healthy fats from sources such as nuts.

Within the first 30 minutes after your run, aim to have a small meal with carbohydrates and protein that includes both. That could include something like yogurt with fruit and granola, smoothie, banana with peanut butter or cup of chocolate milk. But you can take your recovery meal to the next level by including micronutrients that will aid in rebuilding. For athletes recovering from injuries, sports rehabilitation can also be a valuable resource.


Professional athletes understand the importance of maintaining a balance between training, rest, recovery and nutrition in order to maximize their performance. When one area is neglected, another could suffer as a result. There are a range of products and methods that can aid muscle recovery. These include theraguns, CBD muscle rubs, magnesium bath salts and even ice packs. Unfortunately, none of these methods can replace a good night’s sleep. This is because lack of shut-eye can actually decrease an athlete’s capacity for recovery after strenuous activity. Furthermore, sleep increases blood flow to muscles and regenerates cells. It also triggers growth hormones in the body which aid in muscle repair.

If you need help with your recovery routine or are experiencing pain, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Back on Track Physical Therapy.

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