The patterns of my body after a trail run

It’s sore leg day today. Tomorrow it will be I-am-tired-day. I think I’m starting to recognize the patterns of my body after a big trail run.

It’s sore leg day today. Tomorrow it will be I-am-tired-day. I think I’m starting to recognize the patterns of my body after a big trail run, like ERYRI 25 last Saturday.

RELATED: ERYRI 25K; a roller-coaster of emotions

The race is a story on its own. I’ve shared all the thoughts I had during the ERYRI 25 on race day already with you on Saturday. For now, let’s look at the patterns of my body immediately after, and in the days following the race. Maybe they are the same with you.


The hours after a race

I like to finish strong, so immediately after the race I need a couple of minutes; with Sara or on my own when Sara doesn’t come along. I’m still emotional when I finish a race. I still can’t believe I can run again. After 15, 20 minutes I mostly feel fine again. Especially if I can take off my shoes.

RELATED: When will I trust my ankles again?

The hours after the race my legs are generally fine. Gentle but fine. My toes are most of the time painful if we’ve been doing lots of downhills, and I can feel my ankles from all the jumping and bumping.

The night after the race I can’t sleep. Partly because there is still too much adrenaline in my body, partly because my legs are burning hot. Even when I am tired, my legs keep me awake or keep waking me up.


The day after

The day after the race I feel fine. A bit tired because of a bad night sleep, but nothing too bad. Half an hour of Yin yoga fixes my legs and I’m happy to go for a walk. Like yesterday. Sara and I did the Vivian Trail of 6,8 kilometers and even climbed 268 meters.

This is also the day I’m really hungry and I eat everything I can get my hands on. And the day Sara can make me really happy with a foot massage. If I am at home, I like to have a hot bath, with some magnesium in it.


Second and third day after

It’s the second day after the race my muscles hurt. A lot, if I gave it all, like last Saturday. They hurt a little if I’ve kept the brakes on. This is the day I carefully do a self massage and another little recovery walk.

The third day after a race I am tired all day. If it’s up to me, I would do a siesta directly after breakfast, and another one after lunch. Work has to be simple this day, as it’s not a day I am good in focusing. My legs are still painful on this day, but it’s the first day I am happy to have a sports massage of Peter. Although I know it will be painful.


The fourth day after

Day four I’m missing running and if I haven’t gone for a run on day 3, this is definitely the day I go for a recovery run. Nothing crazy, just moving my legs a bit.

All these four days are Yin yoga days. Giving some tenderness, love and care to my legs and feet. Vinyasa flow yoga is more something for day 5 when my muscles start to react again in a way they should instead of just being stiff and protesting.

That’s it. Those are the patterns of my body after a race. How does your body react?

Today's training

Yin Yoga
22 minutes


John Kraijenbrink

The Running Dutchman

I run. Trails mostly. I am Dutch. That makes me The Running Dutchman.

I am also a massage therapist, yogi, sports science nerd, and journalist/writer. Everything I learn and research about trail running, I share here, on this website, with you.

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