Drink a lot of it. That’s it. Consider this a friendly reminder about a topic you surely already know. It may seem obvious, but is often overlooked or forgotten.
When you run, you sweat. In that sweat are important minerals like sodium, magnesium, and potassium. They keep your body functioning like it should, and your muscles are no exception. I take an electrolyte tablet after each run, but considering the long distances I do each day, I also supplement additional magnesium and potassium.
*magnesium is best taken before bed as it will also help you sleep. It relaxes your muscles, which aid in sleep. If you have ever had restless leg syndrome, it will likely knock that out pretty quickly, too.
Hit up that IT band as it gets tight from all that running. No doubt muscle unbalances can occur when one does the same sport over and ver; the IT band gets its fair share of use in running. You can buy your own foam roller or make your own. I will do a separate post about how I made mine, and various adjustments that can be made to suit what you prefer. Foam rollers can be used for much, much more than IT band tightness. I’ve used it on my calves, back, butt. It works wonders. You want to hit those trigger points and rest on them. It kind of hurts, in a good way. Like running.
I just learned about massage guns a few months ago. I absolutely love the one I purchased. They are spendy, though. Be prepared to spend no less than $130. Some are much more expensive. But, these things work. Mine comes with all these different bits that you can change out depending on what you are massaging. You can adjust the intensity, building up to deeper tissue levels. It works great on tight, hard to get muscles in your neck, or the fascia in your foot. I hit the knots in my calves on the daily. It freaking hurts, but it’s worth it.
If you have access to massage therapy, it helps loads when you find the right masseuse. It can take some trial and error to find the one that works for you, and that can get expensive, but if you have the money, patience, and time to fine someone that knows and listens to you, it can make a world of difference. When we lived in Thailand I would go twice a week. When we lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina I would go every other week. Currently, I employ my husband.
Those are my tips that I live by in my running life. Let me know what you do to keep your muscles working in top shape!