Why do I need to complete a cool down?
Cooling down is often the overlooked section of many runners training sessions, yet it plays a crucial role in both enhancing recovery and preventing the development of injuries. Cool downs also offer you an opportunity to reflect on the hard work you have just put in and consider the areas for improvement next time. This brief guide provides an insight into the importance of a well-executed cool down routine with practical tips to make the most of those final minutes post-run.
How fast should my cool down be?
A cool down after a running session should ideally be at a conversational pace or slower as this allows your heart rate and breathing to gradually return to baseline levels. If your cool down is after a hard interval or tempo session, the cool down is fine to include a period of walking. This easy pace facilitates recovery by helping to flush out lactic acid and reduce muscle soreness, making it easier for you to hit the ground running in your next workout.
How do I cool down post race?
A cool down post race will differ slightly compared to your standard post session cool down. As often races are run at an effort the body may not have experienced before the cool down process is even more important. As tempting as it is to collapse to the ground after crossing the finish line of a race, it is best to spend at least 5 to 10 minutes walking slowly to keep your legs moving whilst your heart rate slows down and your body adjusts post race. This will help reduce the chance of experiencing cramping post race which can occur as a result of remaining still for a extended period post race.
Recommend post cool down stretches
In this video, head coach Ben Parker will cover a 5 minute cool down routine to help with your running. These stretches can be performed after the active cool down and are the final component of a thorough cool down.