Why You Should Cool Down After a Race

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I was standing down at the Eco Run over the weekend and as I stood there yelling encouragement to the runners, Mok Ying Ren jogged past on his cool down, having just won the men’s race.

As time passed more and more runners finished and I began to notice how few spent the time to do a cool down run or walk.

In my former life as a professional triathlete, I religiously invested the time to cool down after each race (and hard training sessions) and it was nice to see one of Singapore’s best runners doing the same.

A cool down run (or walk) should not just be something the elite’s do. ALL runners should spend the time – even if just 5 to 10 minutes – to do an easy jog or walk on completion of their event.

There’s a reason for this. A cool down helps to bring your heart rate back towards resting levels and in the process helps to clear away the metabolic waste that has accumulated during your race. This is achieved by facilitating movement in your lymphatic system and blood flow.

By spending the time to clear this metabolic waste from your system you’re setting yourself up to recover quickly and get back into high quality training soon after.

Consistent high quality training is the key to great results so the next time you race, I encourage you to do a short cool down and see how it lowers post race soreness and gets you back to normal in no time.

Ben Pulham

Ben Pulham

Ben Pulham is the founder of Coached, a heart rate training programme that helps you optimise, track and enjoy your training.

A former elite triathlete who has represented New Zealand at Triathlon World Championships, World Cups and in the Olympic Trials, Ben is a sought after endurance coach who has worked with thousands of athletes and many global brands including Under Armour, Nike, P&G, Apple, Standard Chartered, Facebook, Cisco and BMW.
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