If you would like to train as efficiently as possible, without accumulating unnecessary miles, choose a Training Plan for Runners.

6 Things What Not to Do After a Long Run

You have done a great long run workout.

However, what if I tell you that some habits or routines might sabotage your progress? What you do after training is just as important as the training itself.

In this article, you will find out what you should not do after a long run.

What not to do after a long run?

After a long run, do not forget to cool down, do not neglect hydration and energy intake, and do not stay in the same clothes, so as not to diminish the effect of a well-done workout. A long run is not over when you have run the set mileage. It is also important to pay attention to what you do afterward.

Below I will explain in detail what you should not do after a long run.

1. Don’t forget to cool down

After a long run, no matter how tired you are, don’t sit in the car or shower immediately.

We often forget that our training doesn’t end with the last mile due to lack of time.

Give your body enough time to cool down, walk around a bit, and do stretching exercises.

This way you’ll recover faster and be better prepared for the next workout.

What Not to Do After a Long Run

2. Don’t forget to refuel and rehydrate

You probably won’t have an appetite immediately after your workout. You’ll often feel nauseous as well, especially if you’re doing a long run in the heat.

But what you eat and drink after your workout is just as important as what you eat before.


After running, your body is exhausted and needs to replenish its glycogen stores and lost fluids and electrolytes. Otherwise, your workout won’t be as effective.

Even if you don’t have an appetite within the first half hour after your workout, drink some water or an isotonic drink. Be sure to drink a smaller amount of fluid more often.

For example, don’t immediately drink half a liter of water. Instead, drink little by little, taking a few sips every 5 to 10 minutes.

When it comes to food, I like eating a banana or a protein bar half an hour after training.

An hour and a half later I would have a larger meal that consisted, for example, of meat, potato, and salad.

3. Don’t eat too much after a long run

Although it is important to eat something after your workout, make sure you don’t eat too much. Many runners overestimate the number of calories they consume while running.

You’ve done a great long run and your smartwatch tells you that you’ve spent 1500 calories.

Runners often think that this means they get to treat themselves to food, especially if they abstained from it the whole week and paid attention to what they were eating.

This will probably lead to even greater temptation.

Plus, you’re exhausted after a long run, and your brain probably craves fatty, high-calorie foods.

However, you’ve probably heard many times that you shouldn’t reward yourself with food while exercising. Nevertheless, I’ve often made this mistake myself.

At such moments, it’s hard to resist and not reach for a cake or a can of soda. However, try to refrain from it and eat a more nutritious meal.


Runners who often treat themselves with sweets or beer after running risk consuming a larger number of calories than the one that they’ve depleted. Food high in fat, sugar, or alcohol not only contains a lot of empty calories but also negatively affects your post-workout recovery.

4. Don’t strain yourself for the rest of the day

You’ve done a great long run and, despite being tired, you are full of endorphins.

You feel so great and energized that you might be able to get that work done that you’ve been putting off for a while. But don’t let that feeling fool you.

Work like lifting heavy equipment or other heavy physical activities can lead to injury if your muscles are already tired. If it’s possible, put off these activities until another day.


Your muscles are tired and need to recover after running. Hard work can put extra strain and fatigue on your muscles, leaving you feeling exhausted and unable to exercise the next day.

The goal of long runs is to prepare you mentally and physically for a race. They’re anything but an easy workout.

After the workout, it’s important that you give your body a proper rest.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should spend the rest of the day on the couch.

On the contrary, be active and go for a walk or have a coffee; do anything that doesn’t make you more exhausted.


5. Don’t stay in the same clothes after running

No matter how tired you feel after a long run, and even if you aren’t too sweaty, it is not a good idea to stay in your running clothes.

Wet clothes contain bacteria that can cause problems and irritate your skin.

Also, you can catch a cold if you stay in your wet clothes.


It’s advisable that you shower and change immediately. Regardless of whether you can shower or not, you should immediately change your clothes as well as your socks and running shoes to keep your muscles warm and relaxed. This way you’ll stimulate your circulation, which will help you recover faster after your workout.

6. Don’t take a warm bath

As good as a warm bath sounds after a long run, it is not a good idea.

It’s best to shower after your workout, alternating between warm and cold water to promote circulation and reduce inflammation and muscle pain.

Only after that, you can enjoy a relaxing hot bath.

Should you do a recovery run after a long run?

If you run a lower-intensity long run, such as a long slow distance run, then a recovery run is not necessary, instead, you can just walk for a bit and do stretching exercises.

However, if you do a high-intensity long run, such as a progressive long run or a long run where you run at the race pace, then it is desirable that you do a recovery run (5 to 10 minutes of easy running) and some stretching exercises.

That way you speed up your recovery and cool down and prepare yourself for the next workout.

To learn all about the long run read this article: What is Considered a Long Run? (5 Long Run Examples).

You can find out what you should do after a long run in the article What to Do After a Long Run? (7 Necessary Things).


Matea Matošević

Hi, I’m Matea! I’m an Olympic Marathon Runner, founder, and writer behind OLYRUN.com. On this site, I provide help in the form of my knowledge and experience to all who love running and active living. Read more…