Laugavegur Ultra Marathon

The days after a race

After every race, it is important to take care of the body´s nutrition needs. Once a race is over, runners tend to forget that the single most important factor for the next successful race or training session is to consume appropriate food. This is done so that the body can load up on energy and nutrients, in order to recover faster and prepare for the next training session. Runners should put primary focus on the first half hour, or at least the first hour. However, even though the first hour is critical in the recovery process, research suggest that the two to three days after a tough race can make a difference in how one recovers from a race.

When entering the finish line, runners should get drinks that are available at drinking stations in the finish area. Most often, carbohydrate drinks, such as Gatorade and alike, and water are available but it is not uncommon to be offered a banana. It is a good idea to drink plenty of water and/or carbohydrate drinks.

Once out of the finish area, it is good to put on some clothes, move around lightly, even jog and stretch well. It is good to have a glass of water or a carbohydrate drink when stretching. At this time point, every runner has to think about the second part of the recovery process. The first 4-6 hours after a race, runners should not eat less often than every two hours. During this 4-6 hours period, a total of 2-3 light meals could be consumed. The amount of carbohydrates should be 1 g of carbohydrate per kg body weight per hour (g/kg/h). After that, it is enough to keep up with recommendations that allow 7-10 g per kg of body weight throughout the day (g/kg/24 hours).

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