By Rachel Grunwell – Wellness expert, Rotorua Marathon ambassador, yoga + meditation teacher, marathoner, coach, PT and author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness

This post is kindly sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon event – NZ’s most iconic run event which has a distance option to suit every walker and runner including the Red Stag Marathon, Red Stag Half Marathon, Go Media 10km, First Credit 5.5km. Find out more about the event HERE.

  1. Stretch. Stretching will always be my No 1 tip after running. This helps to bring length back to tight muscles and helps you to walk with more ease. Decode: You’ll walk less like a cowboy going into a gun-totting standoff! Ever tried to walk down stairs after a long run? Yeah, you want to avoid that awkward walk that huuuuuuuuurts with every move you make and every breath you take. Trust me, I’ve conquered (decode: survived) 25 marathons and you want to stretch so you can move better. Check out my instagram for some quick vids on how to stretch and use a foam roller.
  2. Use a foam roller. This will help you to “iron out” your body so to speak. Target those knots and tight spots and gently use the foam roller to free your body up.

3. Rehydrate well. This is an energy sapper otherwise! Also, your body works harder to pump the blood around your body if you haven’t had enough fluid. And make sure you have water and not the sweet stuff, of course.

4. Refuel well. You’ve obviously burnt some calories out on your run – and so eat some healthy, wholesome kai. A big mistake is people think they can eat LOTS of crap food because they run. In reality, you can’t outrun a crap diet. But I do believe in balance. I will be celebrating after the run with a glass of champagne and a burger. Yum.

5. Contrast Therapy. I love using cold water and hot water therapy after a run. It stimulates blood circulation and helps you to unwind, relax and rejuvenate. It’s bliss-inducing stuff. The ultimate is going for a soak at the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua where they have a cold plunge pool and lots of hot water pools on the lake edge of Rotorua. This is a blissful place to unwind, relax and you’ll get the best nights sleep afterwards I promise!

The Polynesian Spa has alkaline pools that are great for giving you soft, smooth skin. While the acidic pools are great to easing aches and sore muscles.

I help to co-lead the Mindful Moments Retreats at the Polynesian Spa by the way and I love coming here after a run or walk in the Redwoods Forest which is the location of the Rotorua Marathon’s half marathon course.

Whatever distance your run at this event, enjoy it and be proud of yourself for getting out there and doing the Mahi. Running is epic for your body, mind and soul. It’s a place within yourself to find flow and feel more in balance.

The Polynesian Spa is also a great spot for a recovery smoothie or juice that’s healthy or a massage!

Rachel is the author of the book Balance. She does wellness speaking and mindfulness sessions. She loves to run and lift weights and do yoga. She sees movement as essential for moving well, feeling well and living well.