Essential tips for 10K Recovery.

Jul 30, 2013

We thought it might be useful to compile some essential tips for those participating in 10K events, especially for those of you who we will meet at the weekend at Woodbank Park for the Legacy 10K ( We have divided the advice into 4 main categories:

  1. Stretch & Move.
  2. Hydration.
  3. Nutrition.
  4. Massage & Rest.

Stretch & Move

  • Keep moving. Don’t cross the finish line, jump in your car and drive home.

    Stretch & Move - 10K Recovery.

    Stretch & Move – 10K Recovery.

  • A 5 to 10 minute light jog or walk straight after the race allows your body to wind down, reduce your heart rate & maintain steady circulation.
  • Stretch everything. You’re going to want to stretch your calves, quads & hamstrings. These obvious muscles aren’t the only muscles you have used. Your neck is probably a little tight because you started holding stress. Same with your traps & shoulders.
  • Once you have cooled down, put your legs in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes to help reduce inflammation & potential injury.
  • Pilates & Yoga are great for runners as they help stretch out tight muscles & balance the body.


  • A typical person loses around a litre of water for every hour of exercise in sweat.

    Rehydration -10K Recovery.

    Rehydration -10K Recovery.

  • Sip water regularly after you finish running.
  • Coconut water is a healthy and natural way to replace lost electrolytes.
  • Alternatively, there are lots of great recovery drinks on the market, or you can mix your own using an electrolyte tablet in water.
  • As tempting as it may be, stay clear of alcohol as this can dehydrate you further & strip your body of much needed vitamin’s & mineral’s.


  • Most recent studies recommend that you aim to eat a small high carbohydrate meal within 30 minutes of finishing the 10k.

    Protein helps reload glycogen stores - 10K Recovery.

    Protein helps reload glycogen stores – 10K Recovery.

  • It is during this time-frame that your muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen (stored glucose from which your body draws energy during normal training and racing).
  • Find some protein. Within two hours of finishing, consume some protein along with additional carbohydrate. According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, protein enhances muscle tissue’s ability to reload glycogen.

Massage & Rest

  • A massage can help reduce muscle soreness, spasm & inflammation by flushing out lactic acid that is produced whilst running.

    Massage - 10K Recovery.

    Massage – 10K Recovery.

  • A post-race massage should be smooth & soothing. The therapist shouldn’t dig for knots; this isn’t the time for that.
  • Also, if you suffered any normal injuries, blisters, road rash, chafing, let those heal before trying to get back out there.
  • It’s important to get enough rest. Remember bodily repair takes place between 10pm-2am & mental repair between 2-6am, so sleeping by 10pm will give you ample repair time.
  • Enjoy your achievements & take time to recover. Take 2 days rest before getting back to structured training.
  • Remember that you can always come & visit your friendly neighbourhood Osteopath for treatment & advice.

Essential tips for 10K Recovery.

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