Active Healing Centre

Surviving Your First 5 km Run


Do you remember when you first started running and 5 km seemed like an eternity? Now that you’ve built up your endurance and stamina, you need to nurture your body to improve recovery.

Before Your Run:

Do some light dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches are stretches that involve movement and increasing range of motion. These moves should exaggerate the movements and should activate the muscles used in running. After 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretching your muscles should start to feel warm.

After Your Run:

Hydrate your body: this aids in re-hydrating the muscles, lubricates the joints, ligaments and tendons to keep them supple, drink water or a natural electrolyte after your race (coconut water, lemon and water).

Do static stretching (holding the stretch in one position) for 10-15 minutes after running, or consider yoga for runner’s class.

Eat a post-run meal or snack high in vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that contains both protein and carbohydrates. Some examples include: greek yogurt & granola with nuts and berries, toast with almond butter and banana, fresh apple & almond butter, fruit smoothie with protein powder, fruits and greens, salad with grilled chicken or fish, fruits & nuts, eggs and fruit salad.

Recovery Techniques:

Have a soak in a warm bath with 1 cup of Epsom salts and/or 1 cup of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother). Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate which helps reduce muscle tension and release lactic acid. Apple cider vinegar increases lymphatic flow, reduces joint pain and detoxifies the body.

Try Foam Rolling
Roll on the foam roller to reduce tension in your IT band (on the sides of your leg from the lower gluteus to the knee), on your hip flexors (fronts of thigh) and even roll out your calf muscles. Start slowly and for a short period of time especially if you have really tight musculature.

Get a Massage
This will help loosen tight muscles and increase circulation and lymphatic flow. You can also do a self-massage with coconut oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil (eucalyptus & mint relieve muscle tension, lavender calms and relaxes).

Castor Oil Packs
If you have a particular sore spot or sore joint, slather it with castor oil, cover with an old T-shirt, rag or piece of cotton and apply a hot pack. Keep castor oil pack on affected area for 20-30 minutes. Castor oil is a purgative that helps reduce inflammation, detoxify and improve lymphatic flow.

Consider Acupuncture
If you have a sore muscle or joint, acupuncture can help relieve pain and muscle tension. Needling can help release trigger points in the musculature, stimulate intramuscular nociceptors to reduce pain response, release enkephalins and endorphins and increase circulation to the area.

Increase Foods High in Magnesium
Magnesium reduces lactic acid build up and reduces muscle tension. It works great for cramping, nerve pain and tension by acting on the NDMA receptors. Foods high in magnesium include: pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, rice, flax, sesame seeds, sesame butter (tahini), brazil nuts, almonds & cashews. Consult with your Naturopathic Doctor before taking magnesium supplements internally.

Contact Me: Janelle Albas BSc., N.D. Naturopathic Doctor

  • I offer free 15 minute consults if you would like to learn more about Naturopathic Medicine and what it can do for you.
  • Naturopathic Medicine uses the following modalities: Traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture, Botanical Medicine, Nutrition and Supplementation, Homeopathy and Lifestyle Counseling, I also have additional training in Facial Rejuvenation acupuncture and massage.
  • Naturopathic Medicine is covered by most extended health care plans.
  • I have a special interest in dermatology, fertility and hormonal balancing.

If you have questions regarding my services, please feel free to call my office at 416-699-0336 or email at

Congratulations on completing your first 5 km race!