Here we are… one week out from our Turkey Trot! So in this, the 5th installment of our 5K Beginner’s Guide, we’re going to talk about recovery.

Recovery is always important. Recovery between workouts is when you actually get stronger… not during the workouts. If you have been using my 6 week 5K plan, I mentioned this briefly there.

Now that we are getting closer to race day, it’s time to back off a little and focus on being fully recovered for race day! Here’s 4 of my top recovery techniques!

1. Stretch

This one is an obvious. You hear this all the time from gym class as a kid on up to an adult. Go exercise, and stretch afterwards. I would not suggest doing static stretches before you run, but afterwards is a great time to stretch out.

2. Roll

Foam rolling has really taken off in the last few years, and for good reason. It is an easy way to self massage your muscles and get blood flowing to help them recover. You can get super fancy rollers with bumps and ripples to help massage better, but a plain old Walmart foam roller will work too. Rolling right before bed is a good way to get relaxed and kickstart to rebuilding process before you fall asleep.

3. Bath

Ice baths are another common thought for hard core recovery, but now research casts a bit of doubt on its effectiveness. I lean towards a warm epsom salt bath when I’m really feeling the hard workouts. I usually don’t do that the day of a workout, but a day after is a great time. It will really relax you and get some minerals straight into your muscles.

4. Sleep

The number one way to get recovered is to sleep. Take a nap, go to bed early, whatever it takes. Just get some more sleep!

What are your go-to tricks for recovering? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!