Disclaimer: I received a free package of Epsoak Sport Soothing Epsom Salt from the San Francisco Salt Co. As always, all opinions are my own. #KeepItReal
After a hard workout, especially a long run, it’s very important to recover properly. I’ll be the first one to admit that I do not ALWAYS take recovery seriously, and I can definitely tell the difference in my body when I don’t take the time to stretch, among other things, after a hard workout. When my weekly mileage started to increase during marathon training, I decided to try a few things for recovery. Although everyone is different, here are a few things that helped me recover properly after long runs and hard workouts.
Compression, ALL DAY
I think you all know that I’m a HUGE believer in the power of compression, particularly Pro Compression. I own their low, mid and over the calf socks, capris and tights. For example, I wear compression socks and leggings/capris for long runs. After a long run, I’ll change into another pair of compression socks to walk around in for the rest of the day.
So why does compression make such a difference? I’ll let the folks from Pro Compression exaplain!
“Compression has long been a successful strategy for combating muscle soreness and fatigue. By applying graduated compression—or the right pressure in the right places—you increase blood flow. And when you increase the blood flow, your broken down soft tissue can repair itself more quickly. Put simply, compression helps your body move through its natural recovery process quicker so you feel better faster.”
There are many benefits to epsom salt including, but not limited too, getting rid of impurities in your body, soothing achy muscles and reducing inflammation. I was excited to try Epsoak Sport – Soothing because it sounded like something my muscles would love, especially after getting back into a running/workout routine after a few weeks off due to injury.
What makes Epsoak Sport different from other epsom salt products?
“EPSOAK® SPORT dissolves easily in warm water to create a muscle soak bath not only soak away the sweat, blood, and tears but also the aches, pains, and inflammation after hard workout or long day on the field. The faster you recover, the quicker you can get back in the gym to train at your peak level. Our pure salt is mixed with premium essential oils to create a soaking experience that is wonderful for recovery and relaxing the mind and body post-workout. Lavender essential oil is known to help promote a good night’s sleep so you can wake up ready to train hard the next day.”
The first thing I noticed was the smell – in a good way! It was stronger than other epsom salt products I have tried, and the lavendar smell was so refreshing. I also noticed that my skin was softer after a few of the epsom salt baths with Epsoak Sport. I’m going to make a point of using this poduct at least once a week.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
While it’s important to hydrate during a workout, it’s also important to hydrate after. I can remember drinking a bottle of ice cold water after every long run in the heat during this summer. I made sure to always run with my Nathan Handheld filled with water and Nuun, but I always made sure to hydrate after the run as well. I noticed that I would get a headache if I didn’t do this since I was most likely dehydrated.
Ice, Ice Baby
An ice bath is not fun. I repeat, an ice bath is NOT FUN. I’ll admit that I’ve only had 3 ice baths, so I’m not an expert, but my muscles felt so much better after every ice bath! According to Runner’s World, “Ice baths constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Once the skin is no longer in contact with the cold source, the underlying tissues warm up, causing a return of faster blood flow, which helps return the byproducts of cellular breakdown to the lymph system for efficient recycling by the body.”
I noticed that within hours of an ice bath, my muscles were not nearly as sore, and I was able to workout the next day. For reference, I took an ice bath after 18 and 20 mile runs.
Roll It Out
Rolling out your muscles is SO important. Sure, it’s a pain in the butt, but it’s very beneficial to you in the long run (pun intended). I was lucky enough to receive the Roll Recovery R8 Roller for Christmas and it was love at first sight. I won’t lie and say it feels awesome, but I can see why this particular roller is very popular. It REALLY gets deep into your muscles and I am hoping that it will help allieviate some of the pain I have around my knee and IT band.
Rolling is great for your body because it breaks down any knots that you may have in your muscles. Back in 2015 when I went to physical therapy for my IT band, the PT told me that knots can limit your range of motion. After she said that, a lot of things started clicking for me in reference to my IT band, etc. I try to use my roller after my runs because it just take a few minutes and the benefits are more than worth it!
How do you revocer after a long run or hard workout?