Eight elite trainers share how they recover after a long run

From ice baths to foam rolls, these top-notch runners share how they beat soreness.

Photo: iStock

We’ve all felt the burn – some of us, more potently so than others. But have you ever wondered, how do other people recover? Especially when you know your running routines can make your legs feel like lead. Here, Sydney’s best elite trainers share what works for them and hey… they more you know.

Foam rolling

“Foam roll and warm up prior to running to ensure that your muscles respond to the task at hand. Then stretch and foam roll afterwards to speed up your recovery and reduce the likelihood of injuries.”

– Moodi Dennaoui, Body Science.

Stretch it out at Yoga

“When it comes to recovering from training, I swear by yoga and hydration. After drinking water by the litre and completing a Yin Yoga session, I am a new man. When I am training hard, I try to fit in two yoga sessions per week.”

– Ben Lucas, Flow Athletic and Rebel Insider.

Sleep is key

“Sleep and nap as much as you can. Sleep is the key to recovery. Aim for 8-9 hours a night. If you can’t get that in, then a 20min recovery nap during the day will do you wonders, and not enough sleep increases your chance of injury and affects the level of intensity you can achieve during training.”

– Kevin Toonen, S+C Coach for the Special Forces and Body Science.

Take an ice bath

“When it comes to recovery I swear by ice baths. While opinions on this method vary between strength coaches and sport scientists, they always work for me, especially after a marathon. It’s so easy too. I just pick up few bags of ice from a petrol station, chuck it in a bathtub, add some cold water and submerge myself from waist down (I often keep on my jumper!)

“For me, ice baths help to reduce inflammation and reduce muscle soreness.

“Adequate nutrition and hydration, magnesium supplementation and compression are also great recovery methods post-long run. Sleep is probably the most important – no matter what you do.”

Go for a swim

“You can’t go past a swim to get the blood moving in a weightless environment. It’s the best way to flush out lactic acid after a tough workout or a run, especially if it’s cold! I then like to use a heat rub like the Deep Heat Pro sports recovery massage oil to further promote blood flow usually in the evening or whenever I can beg my girlfriend for a massage!”

– Tim Robards, founder of The Robards Method.

Walk it off

“Once you have finished your run, whether it be a long distance or sprints, spend a few minutes walking it out to allow your legs to cool down gradually. Also spend a few minutes doing a whole body stretch down to lengthen out your muscles post run and then again before bed.”

– Lauren Hannaford, former elite gymnast for Australia.

Get a massage

“I swear by self-myofascial release (or MFR) and stretching, in fact I feel that it should become a daily ritual for anyone who wants to lead an active lifestyle. If you don’t know how to execute this correctly, I suggest asking a trainer for guidance.

“Having said that, when preparing for a tough task, such as an endurance run where you are building up your kilometres each week, your body will require more attention.

“I suggest booking a reputable massage therapist once per week. Looking after your body enhances performance and proactively avoids injuries.”


“Take rest days. Staying mobile and flexible is vital for not only performance and recovery, but also injury prevention. Throw in some yoga and a massage into your weekly schedule too.”

– Katie Williams, beach sprinting champion.

fitness | body+soul

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