The recovery starts as soon as you’re done with your run. The goal is to replenish your depleted glycogen stores and repair damaged muscle fibers. Again, if we are eating a balanced diet of carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fats throughout the day, the less you need to be worried about the makeup of this meal – you’re already doing it!
There are lots of studies out there, but I’m a believer in the 30 minute window – that’s getting good quality carbohydrate on board within the first 30 minutes after exercise. Muscles are most receptive to reloading glycogen in a 15 to 30 minute window. If you’re not finishing your run at home, pack a bar or post-workout replenisher drink in your car. The protein comes into play here, too and for that I give it a 2 hour window. Have your carb replenisher, do your core workout, hop in the shower and then have your boosted smoothie or balanced meal of carbohydrate, protein, and fat.
Post Run Hydration
Drink 2.5 cups (20 oz. of water for every pound lost during exercise). Of course to know this, you need to weigh yourself before and after exercise. Reference Creating your Hydration Profile for more detail on the topic of Hydration.