Never Just STOP at the End of a Run
Let Your Body Cool Down Gradually
After a jog or run, we are usually far too exhausted to consider anything other than letting our knees buckle and finally sitting down, but this may not be the best thing for you after a run. Your body has been pushing itself for some time and your muscles have been working hard, so they need to properly cool down to avoid injury or damage.
As you run your heart rate increases and so suddenly stopping can actually put strain your heart as your body struggles to catch up and stop with you. You may be familiar with the feeling of a pounding chest at the end of a run and being shocked at how fast your heart is beating. Once you’ve finished running, slowly reduce to a jog, then walk around for a few minutes this allows your heart rate to gradually slow down to its regular resting rate.
While you run your muscles are contracting and exerting energy. A sudden stop can cause muscles to cramp, which is why it is important to walk around after a run. Reducing your speed but remaining active allows your muscles to slowly loosen and helps blood flow. Failure to properly take care of your leg muscles after your run can lead to soreness and cramping.
In a similar sense it is vital to drink water after any work out. Once you’ve completely cooled down and can sit, not drinking enough water can also result in soreness and cramping. As you run your body uses a great deal of water and if you don’t replace it you leave yourself at risk of dehydration. However when you simply stop running you are completely exhausted, gasping for air and feel like your dying of thirst. Your initial instinct is to reach for water, which is good because you need to stay hydrated, but drinking to fast while you still haven’t caught your breath can easily make you feel sick. If the nausea leads to vomiting, you could become even more dehydrated.
To end a run you should gradually reduce your speed until you’ve been walking for a few minutes and then stop. Once you’ve stopped is when you can drink and drink as much as you need. This way you have given your body time to cool down and catch your breath so when you go to drink water you can safely chug as much as you want without risking feeling sick. Just remember to pace yourself at the end of a run, the race is over and you’ve got time.