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Keep moving after an event

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

I have been running for 24 years and have coached middle school cross country for 5. My daughter is on the track team this year and I noticed when they get finished from long or short events the coaches (but mainly the parents) are telling the kids not to sit or lay down when they are through just to keep walking.They don't sit on the track but on the grass. I do not wish to keep walking when I compete right after I finish why should we tell them to? What is the correct thing to do? They only sit one or two minutes anyways because they are exhausted from a very hard effort. I can totally understand this. Thanks, Jill Cummings

Answer

Dear Jill, I like my athletes to walk or jog around for a couple of minutes after competing in order to help speed the clearing of waste products from their muscles. I believe that sitting immediately after competing increases the risk of muscle cramping and tightening. A little bit of activity after competing significantly reduces these after-effects and speeds recovery. I would discourage any yelling at kids. Encourage and reward the development of good habits. FUN FIRST, Mick and John

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