Ahhhh, Hornet Run is over. Your daughter (and maybe you if you did it with her!) accepted her t-shirt, stretched, and grabbed a snack. So now what?
What comes next is the recovery stage. This stage is just as important as the other preparations your daughter made for the race. Her body has just given an amazing performance and now it needs time to rest and repair itself.
Gently stretch the muscles throughout the rest of the day. This will help prevent cramping and keep the blood circulating. If she’s particularly sore, you can try icing the area for 10 min (do not put ice directly on the skin; always use a towel as a buffer).
There is some discussion regarding the number of days a runner should rest before returning to the running trail. On average, the suggested time off is one day for every mile run, so 3 days in our case. While rest for the body is important, this doesn’t mean that she has to refrain from exercise altogether. Gentle, slow-paced exercise like walking can keep her muscles loose and help her recover faster. But don’t force it; if she wants to rest for a few days, let her rest.
In addition to physical recovery, she needs to recover emotionally as well. One of the surprising aspects of running a race is the mental stamina required. Some runners might experience the “blues” after a race. This is a normal response and will soon pass.
Recovery is important for your daughter’s mind and body. Encourage her to recover at her own pace.