10 Tips to Recover Faster Between Runs

By Danny Dreyer, Creator and founder of Chi Running Published on May 13, 2022 

How many times have you gone out for a run and felt like your legs were made of concrete, or worse? Surprisingly, they might not feel so bad about something that you did as something that you didn't do. Treat your legs well between runs to gain more enjoyment from your workouts, increase performance, and speed up recovery time.

1. Fuel

If you eat a large meal before a run, wait at least three hours before you head out. Almost nothing you eat immediately before a run will digest enough to give you energy during your run. If you do have to eat, choose something your system can easily absorb, such as a banana, a few spoonful’s of peanut butter or honey, or a handful of dried fruit.

2. Hydrate

Drink at least eight ounces of water a half hour before heading out to prevent dehydration. If you're going for longer than a 10K run, you might consider taking a water bottle or planning a route that has a water stop along the way. Staying hydrated will keep your legs from cramping, especially in hot weather.


3. Shake it Out

You may be tempted to do intense stretching to get warmed up but try to just loosen up instead. Ankle rolls, hip rotations, and knee circles are a few gentle exercises you can do to get your body loose and relaxed without straining cold muscles and joints.

4. Start slow

Begin your runs with a very relaxed and easy stride—not too fast. Increase your pace slowly until you're running at your desired level. If you start off too fast, you risk running out of gas early in your run, and you'll feel more soreness in your legs afterward.

5. Monitor your shoes

Track the mileage on your shoes. At about 300 miles, mid-soles can become too compressed to return to their original shape between runs, and your feet and legs will notice. Be sure to replace your shoes regularly.

6. Cool Down

After you finish your miles, do a three- to five-minute cool-down run, then stretch thoroughly. Don't just jump back into your car and head off to your next event, or you could be walking around with tight legs for the rest of the day. Performing a cooldown and stretching period allows the lactic acid (the byproduct created by your muscles) to be flushed out into your bloodstream and eliminated from your body.

7. Soak

Take a hot bath or relax in a hot tub after your workout. Soaking your legs warms your muscles and relaxes them back into their normal shapes. A shower doesn't work as well, unfortunately, but it's still good for your legs if a bath is out of the question.

8. Feet up the wall

Perform "leg drains" by lying on your back with your legs extended vertically and feet propped against a wall for three to four minutes. This drains the blood out of your legs so fresh, clean blood can be pumped back into them when you stand up. You can do leg drains either immediately after stretching or after your bath. Either way, you'll notice a markedly different pair of legs under you when you get up.

9. Fuel again

If you've just done a strenuous workout, one of your next two meals should be a solid protein meal, which helps your muscles rebuild themselves. Add a hearty green salad and fresh vegetables to replenish your system with valuable minerals.

10. More water

Whether or not you're a regular runner, you should be drinking water all day long. Eight to ten glasses of water spread throughout the day will replenish the fluid lost to exercise. Don't drink your water all at once; just keep an even flow going.

Yoga for a healthy back: run long and strong with a supple spine

Maintaining a strong and healthy back will help you run pain and injury-free

          KEELEY MILNE JANUARY 10, 2023  Canadian Running Magazine

Cat-cow stretch

Start by kneeling (place some extra padding under your knees if this bothers them) on a mat or the floor with your hands on the floor in front of you. Hands should be under your shoulders, knees under hips–spread fingers wide and press them into the floor.

Take a deep breath in while curving your lower back, dropping your belly and bringing your head up, tilting your pelvis up (like a cow). Exhale deeply and bring your abdomen in, arching your back and dropping your chin and head down to move into cat pose.

Repeat several times, using your breath to guide you. Move as slowly as you can to really feel the stretch in both directions, and feel free to pause in either direction to go deeper.

Extend your arms out to the side at shoulder height, palms down.

Take a few deep breaths here, closing your eyes if you’d like, and repeat on the other side when you’re ready.

A healthy spine is key to overall health and moving (and running) well. The spine may be the most important part of your well-being–it houses the central nervous system, responsible for controlling and coordinating movement. Here’s how (and why) you should try some simple yoga for your spine.

In her book Yoga for Runners, Christine Felstead shares that the spine is connected to a large and complex group of muscles, enabling it to support the body in stillness and allowing the torso to move in many directions. “Running is a weight-bearing sport and involves repetitive stress for periods of time,” Felstead says. “While it’s easy to blame running for lower-back pain, sitting all day is the more-likely culprit.” 

Yoga can help balance the effects of sitting for hours and improve running performance by strengthening the muscles and ligaments supporting the spine. Get started with a couple of simple poses. 

Supine twist

This pose feels lovely and is perfect to do after a tiring day or a long run. Try it just before bed to feel extra-relaxed and mellow.

Lay on your back, bend your knees, and bring your thighs into your chest, wrapping your arms around them and giving them a squeeze.

Squeeze your knees together…


…and then roll your knees toward your left elbow and allow them to fall toward the floor.

Turn your head and gaze to the right to deepen the stretch.

Really reach through the right arm, working to keep the shoulder grounded with only the hips moving.

**version 2**

Some basic yoga poses with images

Boat Pose


This pose not only strengthens your abdominal muscles, but it also strengthens the hip flexors and tests your balance. It can be quite challenging at first, so work your way through the different variations until you find one that challenges you, but is sustainable.

To do this pose:

Downward-Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

If you've been to a yoga class or watched any yoga videos, you are likely familiar with the Downward-Facing Dog. To the seasoned practitioner, it might feel like a resting pose, but for beginners it's a fantastic place to start building strength. This pose is a traditional staple of many styles of yoga, and in addition to its health benefits, it's a great strength-builder.


To do this pose:

Half-pigeon pose

Ardha Kapotasana 

This deep hip-opening stretch targets the psoas (lower back) and hip flexors. To bring your body into the pose, sit on your mat and send your left leg out behind you. Pull your right shin so it’s parallel to the front of the mat, flexing your right foot. If this is challenging, take your foot away from your body to ease off; for a deeper stretch, bring that right foot in close.

Happy baby stretch

Ananda Balasana 

Happy baby is a reclined yoga pose that helps open hips and release a tight lower back, glutes and groin, all of which stabilize the body during running and can become sore.

Chair Pose


One of the best ways to strengthen the legs and glutes is the Chair Pose, or Utkatasana. Squeezing the thighs while simultaneously squatting toward the floor creates full-body engagement, and you'll be sweating in no time. This pose mimics a squat you might see in a traditional fitness class, but with the legs squeezed together. *


To do this pose:

*If you struggle with sciatica or other low back pain, separate the feet so they are hip width apart, instead of squeezing to the centerline.

Crescent Lunge


This pose may be familiar to you, as it's similar to the basic lunge you might see in a fitness class. Luckily, there is a lot you can do with this pose to build strength in the thighs and gluteus muscles, as well as stretch the hips and quadriceps.


To do this pose:


Upper Plank Pose

Ardha Chaturanga Dandasana

Like its name, this pose teaches you to be strong like a sturdy plank. It gives you the core strength and heat needed to build into more complex yoga postures. Like many poses in yoga, it creates strength in many areas of the body, including the abdominal muscles, shoulders, and even quadriceps. It's a great pose to help keep wrists injury-free, however if your wrists get tired, you can lower onto your elbows.


To do this pose:

Lower Plank

Chaturanga Dandasana 

Traditional wide-armed push-ups are great for building pectorals, but to build sleek triceps, look no further than the yoga push-up, Chaturanga Dandasana. This one takes time to perfect, but once you do, your arms will thank you.


To do this pose:

Side Plank Pose


Take your planks to the next level by balancing on one hand and engaging the obliques.

Side Plank helps build core strength, this time in the side body. It also adds intensity to the

wrist and shoulder strengthening of the Upper Plank Pose as you shift to support your body

weight on one arm.


To do this pose:


Warrior & Warrior 3

Virabhadrasana III 

This yoga pose tests your balance as it strengthens the back body. Not only does it strengthen your ankles and legs as you find balance on one leg, but it also strengthens the back, glutes and back of the leg as you lift in the back body to maintain balance and shape.


To do this pose:


Basic 10-minute start to the morning 

8 Yoga Poses and Stretches for a Tight IT Band

By Stephanie Ring Published on May 10, 2022

Get out your foam rollers and lacrosse balls—we're talking about the IT band.

Just kidding. You won't need those two torture devices.

Why is it when we have tightness or irritation in our outer hip or knee, our assumption is often that it's our IT band, and rolling is the answer? Using rollers and balls can help, but don't forget about functional fitness and yoga.


Pain and irritation in the IT band are usually caused by one of two things. First, training too much, too quickly. We believe more is better, so we pile on the miles in the hopes of increasing endurance, speed, and fitness. The result is an angry hip or knee. The second cause is general tightness in the band itself caused by a lack of flexibility in the surrounding muscles. That tightness begins to pull on the band, and from there, pain is born.

So what do we do to stop and prevent that pain?

Try practicing yoga. The physical practice of yoga is designed to lengthen and stretch the muscles to increase mobility and improve movement patterns. The poses below are an excellent place to start.