Recovering from your fluid depletion actually begins during your run. During a long run, you can lose up to a quart or more of fluids and electrolytes through your sweat. Replenishing these during your run will help you get a jump start on post-run rehydration.
Following the run, continue to take in liquids. When you’re dehydrated, your blood thickens and your heart has to work much harder to pump efficiently. So keep drinking, even when you don’t feel thirsty anymore. It will help not only your recovery but your performance in your next run.
Similar to your hydration, refueling your body begins while you are still running. If you take in fuel during your long run, you will be less depleted when you’re finished. Choose a high carbohydrate source that works for you, a sports drink, gels, or bars.
After your run, try to have something to eat right away. There is a brief window of time, about 15 minutes following your run, that your body absorbs maximally to refill your glycogen stores. A recovery drink with a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrates to protein, plus electrolytes, works well. For the rest of the day, eat enough to balance the calories that you have burned through exercise.
5. Actual Rest
Remember, that it is not your actual training bouts in which you become stronger. It is during your period of rest and recovery that the small muscle tears you cause through your hard training repair themselves and adapt to a higher load. That is why more isn’t always better.
If you find that you are consistently tired, have come to a plateau in your training, or exhibit other signs of overtraining, you may need to take a little extra rest time. An extra day off here or there is not going to hurt your training. In fact, it just may bring it to the next level.