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11/27/13

Finish(ed) Line: Running rules but are you equipped to handle recovery?

The next time you're stopped at a red light, take a quick glance forward at the back windshield at the car in front of you. If you notice a sticker that says "13.1" or "26.2," and aren't sure exactly what that means, you're actually in the minority.
Those numbers represent a half marathon and full marathon, respectively, and those stickers are becoming increasing prevalent on cars across the country as they represent achievement, exhilaration and bragging rights.
Congratulations, you're a full fledged runner.
The popularity of marathon running and training for those long distance races has spiked considerably. You'd probably assume that training for marathons would be specific to an already fit population, but that is far from accurate. People of all shapes, sizes and exercise history have gravitated toward the goal of training for the sole purpose of being able to run either 13.1 or 26.2 miles.
One important, and often overlooked, aspect of running is not so much the art of doing the actual race but how to take care of yourself once you've finished. Everything from what you're wearing to your post race activity can affect just how quickly you recover and, ultimately if you're running career will begin and end with your first race.

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So what is the best way to recover after a race?
Logically, you'd assume that upon completion of a longer run, one that leaves you completely wiped out, you'd want to simply change clothes, take a hot shower and lay down. That might not be the best plan of action as hitting the couch could lead to longer periods of soreness and muscle fatigue. The best advice is to walk a little bit after a marathon, even if it just a few laps around the back yard.
A hot shower isn't the worst either, but ice and a cold compress can do more good, especially if you're putting it on your feet or knees, both of which take the most punishment as part of a significant run.
Equally important for not only race day but afterward is appropriate clothing. Far too often, would be marathon runners slap on a pair of sweatpants or a plain, white T shirt and assume that is totally satisfactory.
Not even close.
Clothing that is form fitting or adopts a compression style to it is your best bet. 2XU Compression is a remarkable, fantastic line of athletic based clothing that accomplishes a myriad of points as you're pursuing your running career.
2XU Compression helps with circulation and reduces the amount your muscles vibrate, which in turn helps with soreness and recovery time. A big advantage of 2XU is not only its benefits but that it appeals to a wide array of runners, regardless of whether they're rookies of racing or consider themselves professionals.
Either way, you're only a few steps closer to having your very own sticker, along with plenty of gas left in the tank once you cross the finish line.

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