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Pleasure and pain in pushing to your peak

The best part of competing in an event is that last push to get over the finish line.

Even as I finished my sixth Nail Can Hill run last year with a distinct urge to vomit, I felt the euphoria of knowing I’d pushed myself to my limit.

Whether you are competing in that distance for the first time, a seasoned runner wanting to get a PB or just wanting to participate for the enjoyment, a longer event like the upcoming Nail Can Hill Run on May 7 can challenge in many different ways.

With 6 days to go until the start of the iconic 11.3km Nail Can Hill run it’s hoped you are looking forward to the event.

Unfortunately the recovery phase is often overlooked and may lead to prolonged discomfort and be a deterrent for participating in the future. Here are a few hints to allow your body to recover adequately.

Rehydrate

With autumn conditions tending to be cooler, you can still expect to work up a sweat on the hills, even if you are walking. Fluid is lost from sweating and through breathing and needs to replaced.

Drink stations are available at regular intervals during the run. Taking on fluids over the run can still mean you are dehydrated at the end.

Refuel

Muscle recovery after long events can be enhanced by appropriate refuelling. Glygogen stores in muscles are depleted after prolonged exercise and replacing it soon afterwards helps with the repair and recovery process.

Aim to eat some quality carbohydrate and protein within 20 to 30 minutes after finishing. I don’t tolerate eating much solid food post run and opt for a small chocolate milk. Bananas are also great.

If you sweat heavily or if the conditions on the day are hot and humid, solutions such as hydrolyte can assist.

Rest

Rest is an important part of muscle and joint recovery. Sleep should never underestimated for its restorative powers. Aim for an early night. If the event is early and particularly taxing, now is the time to not feel guilty about an afternoon nap.

Returning to activity is dependent on several factors. If you are well trained and used to running this type of distance, a short run the next day to recover may not be out of the question.

If this is a new distance a day of rest is recommended. Try a short walk to keep the muscles and joints from stiffening up along with some gentle stretches. Listen to your body.

So go and conquer the Hill this week and cheer yourself over the finish line.