If you have ever completed a long-distance walk, you will know how much the body can suffer in the following days! I have compiled a few tips to help make sure that you recover in the safest & quickest way possible should you decide to enter an event.
Preparation is key - Make sure that you have trained adequately for the distance you are going to be walking to ensure a smooth recovery.
Pacing - Smart pacing during the walk is also key to a good recovery. Make sure you don't start out to fast to conserve some energy for the latter stages of the event.
Carry on walking - After you have crossed the finish line don't sit down immediately. Reduce your speed but carry on walking to help the muscles to cool down.
Stretch - Do some gentle stretching of the leg muscles once you have walked for a few minutes after the finish.
Drink - Make sure that you carry on drinking plenty of fluids such as water or sports drinks to re-hydrate yourself. If celebrations are happening after the event involving alcohol, continue to drink water alternately with your tipple of choice!
Eat - Try to eat something small such as a banana as soon as you have finished.
Massage - If available have a sports massage post-walk. Many events will have therapists to offer this but if not think about booking in for one 2-5 days after the walk.
Three - six weeks after - Cut down to walking 2-4 times per week working up to an hour a session in weeks 2 -3.
Walked 50km or more? - Allow 4-6 weeks between distances of 50km or more to give the body time to recover.