Friday, April 10, 2015

The Cool Down

Throughout my blogs I have keyed in on before and during the race, but once the race is over there is still a very important thing to do that most young athletes over look. After the run, and the athlete has caught their breath, they should start doing their cool down. “It is important that each athlete cool down at a pace that is comfortable for them but it is also important that it not be too brief.”1 After a big race it is important for an athlete to allow his body to cool down correctly. When athletes do not cool down properly they are putting themselves at risk for cramps or worse an injury. Some times the athlete may not want to cool down and insist that they are fine, but here is why a proper cool down is required. “Slowing your heart rate gently and continuously gives your veins time to constrict and your blood pressure time to drop, preventing "pooling" of blood in the extremities.”2 Here is a few examples to get you started on the right track.

  1. Once your breathing is under control put on your sweats, and start a slow jog. Do not run or walk; just find a nice comfortable pace and jog for about 10-20 minutes depending on the race.
  2. After jogging some light stretching of the tight muscles. Starting out by doing some light dynamic stretching followed by some light static stretching.
  3. Ice if needed. After a race if the muscles are going past the point of sore on to painful then apply ice to area, but not without the athletic trainers permission.

By properly cooling down the athlete will be better protected against pulled muscles, stretched ligaments, and other easily avoidable injuries. It may seem like a waste of time to some, but it is essential for your athletes body to be able to perform to the height of their ability.

1.Hale, Timothy. "Generic Application Error Test JSP (Item)." Generic Application Error Test JSP (Item). Everything Track and Field. Web. 6 Apr. 2015. <>.

2.Lucas, Julia. "Cool Down Correctly." Runner's World & Running Times. 7 Oct. 2010. Web. 6 Apr. 2015. <>.

1 comment:

  1. From personal experience, cooling down is a must after a race. After running a half marathon, I didn't know the proper cool down and stretching protocols so I just walked for a while. HUGE MISTAKE! I wish I would've read something beforehand to keep my muscles from being in so much pain that I couldn't sleep. Cooling down your muscles and stretching are important. In our running classes at Tarleton they should make students aware of the positive effects of these techniques so our athletes are less likely to be injured.