You’ve been planning the past few months for your upcoming race, now’s the time to think about your race recovery. Most experts say your recovery is as important, if not more important, than your training leading up to a race.

With so much riding on how you heal post-race, a recovery plan is an absolute must if you want to get back to training in the shortest amount of time. From ice baths to chocolate milk, here are eight race recovery tips to help you get back on your feet for your next run.

#1 Hydrate

As soon as you cross that finish line, find the nearest water source and drink—drink like never before. Even if you don’t feel like hydrating, keep a drink, preferably high in electrolytes, nearby. You just lost a lot of fluids through sweating, so you’ll need all the hydration you can get.

#2 Don’t Sit, Stay Standing

Refrain from sitting immediately following a race. Doing so will ensure a difficult time trying to stand back up.

Fatigue and stress are slowly creeping into your anterior and posterior muscles, so slowly work your way into walking. Take a trip to the water stand for a refill, or make your rounds of congratulating some of your fellow finishers while staying on your feet. Now move your way into standing in place. Once you feel like your muscles have calmed down, you’re free to sit.

#3 Grab a Bite

Just like you need to stay hydrated, your body is yearning for some fine caloric intake. Grab a protein bar, maybe some granola, and start chowing. It’s all about the calories, so really anything will do. You probably have a grand feast planned for the end of your day, so there’s no need overload on snacks and spoil your appetite.

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