What to do when the race is done? And it feels like you're done? Recover. Washington Post writer Lenny Bernstein offers three pieces of proven advice for athletes who have just finished a serious endurance event.
1. Keep Moving. Goal number one is to get rid of the lactate, and the best way to do that is to keep your blood circulating. Take a walk, says Bernstein. Or do some yoga, or pedal an exercise bike. Stretch as much as you can, and whatever you do, do not stop.
2. Take an Ice Bath. That's "ice bath," not "nice bath." Bernstein quotes ultra-marathoner Nikki Kimball explaining that ice an ice bath "constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown."
3. Drink Chocolate Milk. Here, Bernstein turns to Nancy Clark, a registered dietitian and author of "Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook," who tells us that chocolate milk provides fluid, carbohydrates (sugar) to replenish your body's supply, protein to promote muscle healing and the sodium that you've sweated away. He cites a University of Connecticut study that found that fat-free chocolate milk seems to protect muscles better than a carbohydrate recovery drink.