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IBX Insights

Blue Cross Broad Street Run Post-Race Recovery Tips

By May 8, 2017August 23rd, 2021Well-being

A BCBSR finisher gets a well-deserved post-race massage at the end of the course.

I ran my first Blue Cross Broad Street Run® (BCBSR) in 2010, the second hottest race in its history. Race day was anticipated to be in the 80s, so I spent the previous day drinking gallons of water. The next day the high hit an unbelievable 89 degrees. I had a blast running through the hydrant spray, but as soon as I hit the Navy Yard, all I could think about was rehydrating, which I did (and possibly overdid) at at the South Philly Tap Room.

Race recovery is personal. Every runner has their preferred post-race combinations of food, drink, stretching, resting, and for some, more running. We asked our Independence colleagues how they recover after the run.

Our Best BCBSR Post-race Recovery Tips:

Hit the diner, then the tub

“The first time I ran (pre kids), I ‘recovered’ by heading over to a friend’s party, which had very little food, but plenty of beer (and frankly, not enough comfy spots to sit and rest). But of course, no celebrating this year as I have kids that I’ll have to get home to. Instead, I plan to replace the 1,000+ calories I’ve burned as quickly as possible, probably with a giant breakfast from a nearby diner. In the past, I’ve also found that soaking in a hot tub is the best way to numb the pain. The day after I’ll likely be sore, so I’ll try to do a quick walk or light jog to loosen up my muscles.” – Susan Rossman

Find your pace

“This was my sixth BCBSR! In my early runs, I would celebrate with a huge meal. The first time my partner and I ran together, we ordered enough takeout for five people and slept the rest of the day. Now we just keep walking and eat more or less like normal people — this could be because my body is used to the long runs now, and I feel less of a need to rest or recover. I feel like if you keep going about your day after a long race, your body doesn’t lock up, and you’re less wobbly the next day.” – Kim-Thao Nguyen

Refuel, then burgers

“After a race, the first thing I do is rehydrate and refuel with my post-race nutrition. Then, seeing as my family is typically there cheering me on, I go and hang with them and then we head out for a post-race celebration meal. After every race I crave a big juicy burger, so that’s what we do, we go and have burgers. By then I’m usually thinking of my next race.”
– Melissa Matyas

A cold one followed by an ice-down

“My post-run recovery isn’t scientific or anything. After the BCBSR, my parents and I head to Xfinity LIVE to enjoy a couple of beers while we wait for the parking lot to clear out. I usually eat a light meal the morning before a big run, so a sandwich is just the ticket when I finish up. The rest of the afternoon, I sit around with my feet up, watch movies, drink ice-water, and ice my knees. The first time I ran the BCBSR, I scheduled a day off the following Monday and got a 90-minute massage to reward myself for my hard work.” – Jennifer Tafe

Sports massage with a side of fries

“My BCBSR race recovery includes a hot shower, brunch, a nap, dinner with lots of french fries, and a sports massage on Monday. I’ve got a pretty standard tradition.” – Alison Krumm

A hot shower, then power hour

“I normally plan another long race a few months after the BCBSR to keep the motivation up. Immediately after the race, I go out for brunch with friends and family. Every year it’s a different location, but I use that as a chance to treat myself to something I’ve been craving during the many weeks of training: beer and pizza one year, margaritas and nachos another …Wow, totally forgot about the hot shower part. That’s definitely step one, then some stretching, then booze and food.”
– Sarah Matthews


Rebecca Finkel

I’ve been vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, paleo, gluten free, dairy-free, low-carb, and kosher, yet I fall again and again to the lure of the Reuben. As I get older, I’m learning to take a more omnivorous approach to health, but I still love writing about new trends in diet, fitness, and wellbeing.