Nine Ways to Recover After Running a Half Marathon

Nine Ways to Recover After Running a Half Marathon

You’ve pushed your body to the physical (and maybe even emotional) limit to conquer 13.1 miles and now you’ve made it!

But before you start planning for your next race, it’s important to implement a recovery strategy that boosts circulation, reduces soreness and promotes overall wellness so you can get your body back to optimal performance.

Here are nine ways to recover after running a half marathon:


The moment you cross the finish line, be sure to keep moving for at least 30 minutes in order to kick start your recovery right away. Movement is essential because it helps the heart pump fresh, oxygen-rich blood to your muscles. Your weary legs will definitely benefit from this. If you stay stationary, there’s a good chance you’ll begin to feel dizzy and possibly even pass out. Sitting for a long time right after your race is also not recommended because you are more susceptible to getting leg cramps and it will be harder for you to bounce back.


As you already know, hydration is absolutely critical during and after the race. However, in addition to drinking plain water, you’ll need to ensure that you are consuming beverages that have electrolytes to replace the ones you just lost. Keep drinking around 20 ounces of your rehydration beverage of choice every hour on the hour until you are fully hydrated. Clear urine will indicate when you can lay off the Gatorade and get back to your normal routine.

Coconut water is also another great option to incorporate into your training and recovery routines because it is high in two minerals that can help with your performance: potassium and magnesium.


Tart cherry juice is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. That makes it a great choice to help reduce muscle pain and accelerate recovery after your half marathon. Interestingly, a 2006 study showed that tart cherry juice lessened some of the symptoms of muscle damage after intense training. Over a four day period, those who drank tart cherry juice after training reported strength loss of just 4 percent, compared to 22 percent among those who drank another beverage.

If you’re not a fan of drinking juice, eat a bowl of this superfood instead. You’ll reap the same benefits!

Overall, paying attention to your post-race diet is just as important as your diet during training. Check out this Mind Body Green article for more tips on the best foods to eat for recovery.


After “staying dry” for months during your training, we can understand wanting to enjoy an ice cold beer or a glass of wine after your race is over. However, if you want to speed up your recovery time, there are a few things to know before adding alcohol to the mix. First, since alcohol is a diuretic and there’s a good chance you’re already pretty dehydrated, be sure to enjoy a cold one only after you’ve properly replenished your body with the fluids, electrolytes, antioxidants and nutrient rich foods mentioned above. Second, remember that your stomach might be more sensitive than usual; and lastly, moderation will go a long way at this stage in the game.


Cold water immersion has been scientifically proven to reduce muscle soreness, improve circulation and efficiently flush toxins from your body. The best part? You don’t have to bury yourself in a tub of ice to rejuvenate your body with this natural remedy. Turning your faucet to the coldest setting and soaking your legs for 15 to 20 minutes will do the trick.


According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, compression is excellent for muscle recovery after a race. As the name suggests, compression socks improve the circulation of blood within the legs based on their design. They provide graduated compression, which means that they are tightest around the feet and lower legs since these are usually the most affected areas when it comes to swelling. While most compression socks on the market are dull and drab, our unique design and innovative knitting techniques ensure that you can be comfortable and trendy. We have many different styles to fit your personality. Why not be a superhero in our Captain America socks, feel groovy with our Tie Dye Collection or show us where you call home with something from the State Collection?


Book a massage for the day after your race. Be sure to tell your masseuse to spend some quality time on your calves, quads and hamstrings since they will be most in need of some extra TLC. A massage will help to lower the pain of delayed onset muscle soreness by boosting circulation. Similarly, stretching increases blood flow and helps release endorphins helping you to feel relaxed and restored.


Gentle cross-training is an excellent way to maintain fitness without slowing your recovery process in the days after the race. Walking, swimming and cycling are great options so long as they are low impact. This resource provides a sample routine for gradually adding running to your routine after your half marathon.


A common problem for runners after completing a half marathon is ...“what next?” There are so many options you can consider. For example, you can train for a longer race or do a series of 10K’s over the next few months. Regardless of what you decide, be sure to use this time to re-evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to see how you can improve your performance in your next big race.

Now we’d love to hear from you! Let us know how you’re doing with your half marathon training and recovery by joining our community on Instagram or Facebook. Be sure to use #crazycompression to show off your compression gear!


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