Post Great North Run: Half Marathon Recovery

So, here we are two days on from the Great North Run. By all accounts it was a fantastic day, and they were even able to identify the millionth finisher. If you did finish the run, then you’re probably in a world of pain right now! Following on from last post, here are some hints to help you get those legs back to normal so you can climb the stairs at a normal speed again:


  1. Stay hydrated. Don’t forget to keep drinking now that the race is over – it’s important to replenish your fluid intake, and focus on drinks that will replace your electrolytes too. And by all means have a post-run beer because, well, why the heck not? You’ve just run 13.1 miles. But don’t forget the water too.
  2. Over the next few days, make sure you rest to give your muscles a chance to recover. Don’t immediately jump back into your exercise routine, but enjoy being able to catch up on your TV. If you’re looking for something, I can recommend Orange is the New Black as the perfect companion for your post-run muscle rest.
  3. Eat Smart. Before the race, you probably stressed about getting the right amount of carbs: post-race, you should still focus on carbs, but also consider getting the right amount of protein.  Ideally, a protein shake just after you finish will help your muscle repair, but you can continue this for the days following the race too.
  4. Foam roll. I am not so good practicing what I preach with this one, but rolling your legs will give you a DIY sports massage. You can use the roller all over your body, but I personally focus on my calves, IT band and quads. Roll slowly over the area you’re focusing on, and when you feel a twinge, hold the roller there for a little bit. Beware that it is NOT fun, but it IS valuable. I promise.
  5. Start introducing light exercise into your routine. If you can manage it, going for a short walk will keep your legs loose and stop them from stiffening up.

Marathon recovery meal

On the day itself, I find that chocolate milk is the best recovery drink: it’s hydrating, and has a good combo of carbs and protein. I also try to sit in a cold bath for 10 mins. I’m not tough enough for an ice bath, but a cold bath seems to do the trick!


I’ve collected these over the years from different sources, and they seem to work for me. However, you may need to vary them slightly to make sure they work for you – and if you’re in a lot of pain, then go see a doctor.


And now here are some tangents for this Tuesday post:


I learned this week that if you annoy the universe, it will come to get you. Karma, man, it exists. Something happened at the end of last week, and then when SB and I went to Lisbon for the weekend, we lost our luggage.

photo 2-13

In case you didn’t know, Lisbon is gorgeous, but our city break was punctuated with a desperate trip to H&M followed by the Chemist (because losing your luggage and sprinting to make tight plane connections is sweaty work it turns out).


Here is our best 'lost suitcase' look.

Here we are spotting the latest trends in ‘I lost my suitcase and I all have are the clothes on my back’.


SB got his bag earlier than I did, and went for a run. I didn’t go for a run, but I did get to a rooftop bar, plus we both ate lots of great seafood, so everyone’s a winner. My bag arrived just in time for me to pick it up on the way back to the airport on Sunday.


photo 1-14



And on Facebook I was nominated to share 10 books that have stayed with me over the years, so I thought I’d share here too:


1) 1984, George Orwell
2) The Baby Sitters Club, Ann M Martin – saw me from ages 7-12!!
3) The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
4) Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
5) A Doll’s House, Ibsen
6) Ariel, Sylvia Plath
7) Jamie’s Ministry of Food, Jamie Oliver – this book has literally kept us alive
8) Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
9) Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
10) Empire Falls, Richard Russo


Ellie B

The Fresh Prince

So England has it’s next Monarch – the one after the one after the one after this one that is. Like the rest of the country I kept up to date with the lack of updates yesterday (yes, she’s still in labour… still in hospital) and then watched BBC news’ lack of updates after the birth announcement (yep, it’s a boy… there’s the easel…. here’s the front of the hospital). But what’s it going to be called??

Baby Name Cloud

I hope they pick Kong

Ah but I do love a bit of Royal Family pomp, and how the Brits fully embrace any and every reason to celebrate the successes of the Royal Family. We arrived in the UK two weeks before the Royal Wedding, and I was 100% converted to a Middleton fan. Heck, I even have a mug.

Watching it at Hyde Park

As an Aussie, living in England during the last few years has been pretty exciting with everything that’s happened: The Royal Wedding, Olympics, Jubilee, and now the Royal Birth. It’s all one massive kaleidoscope of pride, patriotism, and good will here, and it’s ace to see it.


The English love their country and their identity. It’s similar everywhere – Australia has Anzac and Australia Days, and patriotism in the U.S. needs no introduction – but when an English person writes “God save the Queen” on their Facebook status, or when shelves are stocked with “Best of British” produce, somehow it’s not met with the same cynicism as it would elsewhere. The Royal family provide an identity for all this patriotism. And sometimes it’s fun to jump on the bandwagon.


I can’t imagine anyone writing “God Save KRudd. Julia Gillard. KRudd” on Facebook. Perhaps because it’s too hard to keep up to date with it all.

Anyway, welcome to the world Baby Cambridge. Now hurry up and bring out your merchandise range so I can add to my mug collection and get the special edition of Hello magazine.

Yesterday I spent a while foam roller-ing my left leg and stretching in the hope I can nip this IT band thing in the bud. If pain is anything to go by then I’m on track for a full recovery. 😉 Today I’ll do more of the same, and tomorrow I *may* attempt a run with my running club. Exciting running reading, hey?! Thank goodness for the Royal Birth to distract us all….

Ellie B

** My friend is undertaking a 4 day super challenge in support of the Children’s Heart Unit in Freeman’s Hospital, Newcastle. He is on day 3: a 35 mile run, after completing 2 days of cycling totalling at 140 miles, plus a one mile swim, in the Lake District yesterday and the day before. If you are interested, you can learn more about it here! **