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5 Ways to Recover After The Broad Street Run

Photo credit: Getty Images/jacoblund

Photo credit: Getty Images/jacoblund

Warmer weather and race training go hand-in-hand. Funny how sunnier mornings make lacing up your sneakers for your morning jog that much easier…

But after all the training leading up to and finishing your Blue Cross Broad Street Run can start to take a toll on your body — especially if you don’t take time to recover after a distance run or race. Here are a few key ways to target common runner’s pains, alleviate aches, and keep yourself running all race season long! 

For heel and arch pain: Foam rolling

Plantar fasciitis is the most common culprit of chronic heel pain for distance runners hitting the pavement for the extra 10 miles or so. A simple way to reduce your pain, and prevent it from striking mid-run, is to roll a tennis ball or foam roller under the arch of your foot.

A study in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy reported that runners who incorporated self-myofascial release (the fancy name for foam rolling) in their training saw a reduction in pain, improved range of motion, and faster muscle recovery.

For hip stiffness: Yoga

More downward facing dog, less stiffness. Incorporating a low-intensity yoga or Pilates routine once or twice a week into your workout schedule not only improves your flexibility, range of motion and stiffness, it also can improve your running form.

Researchers from Indiana University found that runners who practiced hip strengthening routines one to two times a week for six weeks reported a reduction in hip and knee pain as well as less overall injuries. Plus, yoga and meditation are great ways to improve your race-day mindset and reduce stress.

For knee pain: Lower mileage

When the stress of runner starts to take a toll on your patella, tapering your mileage at the first tinge of pain is the best way to ease soreness before it escalates to something worse.

For shin splints: Cross training

Ah, shin splints. Almost every runner will experience these painful little lumps on the front of their shinbones at some point, but what are they? Medial tibial stress syndrome (the more formal name for shin splints) can be triggered by two things: If your shin is sensitive to the touch it could be a sign the pain is in your bone; if the pain comes on after you start running and feels like a tightness in your shins it’s coming from your muscles.

Growing research hasn’t come to a consensus on how to prevent shin splints, but once they arrive your best bet is to rest. To keep your fitness up and build strength that will help the healing process, try biking, indoor cycling, or swimming instead. Keep the weight off your shins and ice at night to reduce inflammation.

For stiffness: Acupuncture*

Trouble making a transition from sitting to standing post race? Respond with a remedy that helps increase circulation and improve your muscle mobility. These tiny, bendy needles will target your surface muscles, help improve blood flow and reduce the uncomfortable inflammation making you creak.

In a 2012 study, researchers found that people who used acupuncture as a way to manage chronic paint (like migraines, arthritis, and low back pain) saw a significant improvement in their overall mood and pain level.

Whether you’re looking to amp up your intensity, taper your mileage after a big race, or nurse an injury while staying in shape, there are a variety of classes (yoga, interval training, barre) available at Independence LIVE! this spring to keep your healthy life in full gear as the weather heats up.

For more information on how Independence Blue Cross keeps you running healthy and happy all year round, click here.

*Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your healthcare provider.