You have done a great long run workout. However, what if I tell you that some habits or routines might sabotage your progress? What you do after training is just as important as the training itself.

In this article, you will find out what you should not do after a long run. You can find out what you should do after a long run in the article What to Do After a Long Run? (7 Necessary Things).

6 things what not to do after a long run

What not to do after a long run?

After a long run, you mustn’t forget your cooldown, ignore your hydration and your energy replenishment, or stay in the same clothes so as not to diminish the effect of a well-done workout. A long run is not done after you run the set mileage. It is also important to pay attention to what you do after it.

Below I will explain to you in detail what you should not do after a long run.

1. Don’t forget to cool down

After finishing a long run, however tired you are, do not immediately sit in your car or go for a shower.

Often, due to a lack of time, we forget that our training does not finish after we run the last mile. Give your body enough time to adequately cool down, walk around for a bit, and do stretching exercises. That way you will speed up your recovery and be more prepared for the next workout.

2. Don’t forget to refuel and rehydrate

You probably don’t have an appetite immediately after training. Often you might be nauseous, especially if you do a long run during high heat. However, what you eat and drink after training is just as important as what you take before it.

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After running, your body is exhausted and it needs to replenish its glycogen stores, as well as lost fluid and electrolytes. Otherwise, your training will be a lot less effective.

Despite not having an appetite within the first half-hour after training, drink some water or an isotonic drink. Make sure that you consume a smaller amount of fluid more often. For example, don’t immediately drink half a liter of water. Instead, drink little by little, taking a few sips every 5 to 10 minutes.

When it comes to food, I liked eating a banana or a protein bar half an hour after training. An hour and a half later I would have a larger meal that consisted, for example, of meat, potato, and salad.

3. Don’t eat too much after long run

Although it is important to eat something after training, make sure that you don’t overeat. Many runners overestimate the number of calories that they spend during running.

You’ve done a great long run and your smartwatch tells you that you’ve spent 1500 calories. Runners often think that this means they get to treat themselves with food, especially if they abstained from it the whole week and paid attention to what they were eating. This will probably lead to even greater temptation.

Likewise, after doing a long run, you will be exhausted, and your brain will probably crave fatty and high-calorie foods.

However, you’ve probably heard plenty of times that you shouldn’t use food as treat for training. Despite this fact, I’ve often made this mistake myself.

In those moments, it is hard to resist and not reach for a cake or a can of soda. However, try to refrain from it and go eat a more nutritious meal.

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Runners who often treat themselves with sweets or beer after running risk consuming a larger number of calories than the one that they’ve depleted. Food high in fat, sugar, or alcohol not only contains a lot of empty calories but also negatively affects your post-workout recovery.

4. Don’t strain for the rest of the day

You’ve done a great long run and, despite being tired, you are full of endorphins, and you feel so great and energetic that you might be able to do the work that you’ve been putting aside for a while. However, don’t let this feeling trick you.

Doing work like lifting heavy equipment or some other hard physical activities might lead to injury if your muscles are already tired. If it’s possible, postpone those activities to some other day.

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Your muscles are tired and need to recover after running. Doing hard work can put extra strain and fatigue on your muscles and make you feel exhausted and unable of training the next day.

The goal of long runs is to prepare you mentally and physically for a race. They are all but an easy workout. After training, it is necessary that you provide your body with adequate recovery. This, of course, does not mean that you should spend the remainder of the day on the couch. On contrary, be active and go for a walk or a coffee; do anything that won’t make you even more exhausted.

what not to do after a long run

5. Don’t stay in the same clothes after running

No matter how tired you feel after a long run, and even if you aren’t too sweaty, it is not a good idea to stay in your running clothes. Wet clothes contain bacteria that can cause problems and irritate your skin. Likewise, if you stay in your wet clothes, you might catch a cold.

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It is advisable that you take a shower and change your clothes immediately. However, regardless of whether you can take a shower or not, change your clothes immediately, as well as your socks and running shoes to keep your muscles warm and relaxed. That way you stimulate circulation, which helps you recover faster after training.

6. Don’t take a warm bath

As good as a warm bath sounds after a long run, it is not a good idea. After training, it is best to take a shower with alternating hot/cold water to increase your circulation and reduce inflammation and muscle pain. Only afterward you can enjoy a relaxing hot bath.

Should you do a recovery run after a long run?

If you run a lower-intensity long run, such as a long slow distance run, then a recovery run is not necessary and, instead, you can just walk for a bit and do stretching exercises.

However, if you do a high-intensity long run, such as a progressive long run or a long run where you run at the race pace, then it is desirable that you do a recovery run (5 to 10 minutes of easy running) and some stretching exercises. That way you speed up your recovery and cool down and prepare yourself for the next workout.

To learn all about long run read this article: What is Considered a Long Run? (5 Long Run Examples).


Matea Matošević
Matea Matošević

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Matea Matošević

Hi, I’m Matea! I’m Olympic Marathon Runner, founder, and writer behind OLYRUN.com. On this site, I provide help in the form of my knowledge and experience to all who love running and active living. Read more…

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