Training for a long-distance running event is extremely important but we must not forget that how you recover post-event will determine when you can back to training & be confident of remaining injury-free. If you do not recover adequately, you may suffer from over-training symptoms.
Try to walk for a few minutes rather than coming to a sudden stop to let your heart rate decrease.
Elevate your legs for 10 minutes.
Eat a mixture of carbohydrate & protein as soon as you can post-race, ideally between 30 & 60 minutes after finishing.
Have an ice or cold water bath if you dare!
Drink little & often to rehydrate.
Plan some time the day after the race for rest & relaxation.
Days Following the Race
In the days after a race, start with a 15-20 minute walk. Build this up to gentle jogging & low intensity running.
Run on soft surfaces if you have just completed a road race to give the body a break from the roads.
Incorporate some cross training into your programme such as swimming or cycling.
Think about getting a recovery/post-event sports massage.
If you're not sure of the best course of action after a race/event, make sure you get some advice from a running coach or qualified practitioner.