You want to start jogging pretty quickly after you have raced or trained so that your body doesn't stiffen up. Ten to twenty minutes of slow jogging should wind down the body's muscles so you can pull up well over the next few days .
Within 30 minutes of finishing racing or training, try and get at least 20g of protein into your system. I use Endura Optimizer (protein and carbohydrate recovery drink) and Endura Pro Body Bar (protein bar) which provide plenty of fuel to assist in my recovery.
I pull up really sore in my calf muscles and in my hamstrings so I make sure I pay extra attention to these areas in my cool down. If I don't look after them, I struggle with delayed onset muscles soreness for a few days.
Massage helps iron out the kinks. Straight after a session or a race you may not need a really hard and deep massage, perhaps just more of a flush to bring blood to the sore areas of your body. Later on in the week if you're still a bit sore, it might be time for a deeper massage to target any points that are still tight.
At the end of the cool down process an ice bath is handy to reduce the inflammation placed on the body. I was once told by John Steffensen that an ice bath acts to shut down the body's nervous system so it can start again. I don't know if that's true or not, but I can understand the method he's going for. The ice takes the blood away, so then when you hop out of the bath, blood will rush back to the area to create a flush.
All the best with your cool down.
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