Yesterday, I ran my fourth half marathon! It was a completely gorgeous day – mid-60s and sunny.
Unfortunately, despite following a solid training plan, my time was rather terrible. My feet started hurting in the 6th mile, my left leg began to hurt in the 10th mile, and I was battling some pretty awful negative inner voices. But, I did it – I finished upright, on my own, and with a smile on my face. My parents and Chris wished me luck at the start, and they brought my grandparents along to see me cross the finish line! Their support has again been incredible ❤
After a post-race beer and peanut butter bar was devoured, Chris took my friend and I out for lunch at a nearby burger joint (yay for veggie burgers!). We then came home so I could shower and relax.
Cue the unquenchable hunger. 13.1 miles is quite a distance, and it does a number on the body.
Aside from a cold glass of much-deserved beer, and a delightfully refreshing banana, post-race nutrition can be a tough thing to tackle. Do you gorge on all the unhealthy foods you want? Do you keep it conservative and make a simple eggs & potato dish? Do you whip out all the protein powders and healthy ingredients that are in your pantry? For every one of my longer races, we have gone out for brunch/lunch upon crossing the finish line. I usually order whatever egg dish is on the menu because I’m craving salt and protein, and nothing sweet. Yesterday’s burger did have a fried egg on it 🙂
But the rest of the day? Now that’s totally up in the air. Rather than simply grazing through your fridge and pantry (that can end up to be a total stomach ache!), it’s important to have foods ready to eat, or items that your significant other/best friend/parents can make for you as you sit and recover with all the compression gear you own.
Post-race recovery is super important. It helps your muscles get back on track, satisfies your stomach, and aids in a faster turnaround time so you’re not tempted to spend a week away from running – or moving, for that matter. Sure, a few days off the road after a long race is a good idea, but any more than that and you’ll risk losing the desire to run and muscle memory of doing so.
Of course, fresh produce is always a wise choice. An apple with nut butter makes a great snack, as does a piece of whole grain toast with butter and scrambled eggs. But if you want something more substantial, creative, and delicious, you’ll love this roundup of 34 post-race recipes! There’s everything from no-bake bars, healthy baked goods, bliss balls and smoothies, to savory meals and snacks that will help you recover throughout the day, and even week, following a big race.
Balls, Bars & Baked Goods
Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins, from Suzlyfe
Coconut Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars, from Healthy Helper
Espresso Hemp Protein Bites, from The Fit Cookie
Gluten-free Oat Bites, from The Fit Cookie
No-bake Chocolate Chip Oat Bars, from The Fit Cookie
Peanut Butter Blondie Brownies, from Healthy Helper
Rainbow Bliss Balls, from Casey the College Celiac
Tropical Protein Baked Oatmeal, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, from Healthy Helper
Zucchini Bread Protein Loaves, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Smoothies & Bowls
Blackberry Walnut Protein Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Cherry Limeade Recovery Smoothie, from Suzlyfe
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Black Bean Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Creamy Blueberry Orange Smoothie, from The Fit Cookie
Honey Roasted Rhubarb Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Orange Creamsicle Avocado Protein Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Orange Turmeric Smoothie, from Marathons & Motivations
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Strawberries & Cream Breakfast Quinoa, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Sweet & Spicy Triple Berry Smoothie Bowl, from Marathons & Motivations
Trifecta of Smoothies, from Ilka’s Blog
Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Avocado Egg Salad, from Confessions of a Mother Runner
Chilled Southwestern Sweet Potato Bowl, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Curried Oatmeal with Scrambled Eggs, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Fajita Frittata, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Oil-free Sriracha Roasted Walnuts, from Healthy Helper
Vegan Portuguese Kale & Soy Chorizo Soup, from Suzlyfe
Vegan Pork n’ Bean Mac & Cheese, from Healthy Helper
Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
Vegetable & Egg Pita Pizzas, from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!