Recovering after the bridge run

Cooper River Bridge Run 2012 (WCIV)

By Sonya

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - "Get Over It" -- that's a slogan that you see on hats, shirts, and other Cooper River Bridge Run paraphernalia. While that refers to getting over the bridge, how do you recover after you get over the bridge and finish the race?

I talked to some avid runners who have done the bridge run several times to get their advice on how to bounce back after the 6.2-mile race.

After you cross that finish line, you probably want to stop moving but you need to make sure you cool down properly.

"Jog at least a half mile after the race once you've caught your breath so that your muscles won't be stiff," said Neville Miller, who ran the bridge run three times while he was the weekend meteorologist for ABCNews4.

After a short jog, don't forget to stretch.

"Muscles tighten up and it's important to lengthen and stretch those muscles," said Deanna Smith, who has run numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, and 25 full marathons.

The next step to race recovery is to hydrate.

"After a big race like the Cooper River, people like to go out and celebrate which is fine, but people need to remember the importance of hydration,"{}Smith said. "Drinking plenty of water after running is important. It is also good to incorporate some electrolytes, such as Gatorade."

Most of us are ready to eat a good meal too, which Miller recommends but he says the less greasy the food, the better.

After the adrenaline of the race has worn off, make sure you listen to your body.

"People will have different reactions to running a 10k depending on their training and running experience," said Smith. "There will be soreness and tightness for most people after a 10k but people need to pay attention to any aches and pains that need to be addressed. If there is a specific body part that is aching, icing can be helpful."

And even though you may want to take it easy and sit on the couch the next day, Miller says light exercise is a good thing.

"Go for a walk or a light, short run to help with soreness," he said.

I hope to see you at the finish line, although I may be jogging past you with my sports drink in hand making sure I recover from the race and before forecasting the weather that night on ABCNews4.