How To Boss Your Recovery After A Tough Workout

Whether you’ve just started working out, or if you train 6 times per week we’ll all be familiar with the post workout suffering. Sore muscles, feeling tired and an indescribable hunger (and that’s just a few of the possible post workout symptoms)! If you are challenging your body then you’re gonna feel it the next day… and maybe the day after that, and the day after that one… So how do we start to recover after a tough workout to enable us to get back to what we love doing, but feeling stronger?!

Here are some ideas I have for you: 

Recover From Your HIIT Class

You took your pre-workout (cos you have nailed the your supplement routine, right?!) and smashed out that class. The great thing about high intensity interval training is that you can squeeze your workout into shorter amounts of time. I’ve been known to bang out a 12 minute session at home AND very much feel it the next day.

1. Protein Shake / Smoothie

Either pack yourself a protein shake or order one from your studio fuel bar before class so it’s ready for you when you finish.

I’ve been a huge fan of SmartShakes for years; they’re great as they allow you to keep the powder unmixed until you need it. The slim ones are perfect for packing in your gym bag, the originals are perfect for at home use, and the 1L ones are insanely useful for carrying water.

The optimum time to consume your shake post workout is the 30 minutes after you have finished, keeping your body in repair mode.

Recipes & More:

2. Make Sure You Stretch (or do Yoga)

Whenever I teach my classes and people duck out of the studio when we start the (only) 3-4 minute stretch at the end, I always wonder if they realise that it’s just as important as the warm up and the main component of their workout?!

How To Recover After A Tough Workout - Make Sure You Stretch (or do Yoga)

If you’re training at home and are unsure what to do, there are plenty of resources online including a Stretch & Recovery Guide I just created and launched with Bioglan – leave me your email address here to be the first to check it out!

I still highly recommend the Nike Training Club app – they always have a few 15 minute routines for stretching and yoga available in the app. The Fiit app also has a whole rebalance studio worth of workouts. Stretching helps to loosen up your muscles …which you just spent your workout shortening; therefore helping to reset your body.


Recover From Your Half Marathon / Marathon

If we could assign levels of suffering, this would be significantly more than a HIIT class. However, through experience I know that suffering can be reduced through training well for the event you’re taking part in. Even still, you’ll need to look after your body post race….

1. Get Out Of Your Trainers, Get In Some OOFOS

The first thing I do when I cross the finish line and am reunited with my bag is to kick off my trainers and pop on some flip flops. Back when I last ran the North London Half Marathon I swapped out my flip flops for a pair of OOFOS Recovery Footwear for the first time (they were the OOriginal Women’s in Melon).

How To Recover After A Tough Workout  - Get Out Of Your Trainers, Get In Some OOFOS

As I recently started cyclocross racing which mostly takes place in the winter, I needed a version that would allow me to keep my feet warm (wearing socks) and still give me all the same benefits so I got a pair of OOahh Slide (sliders), featured in the image above. Yes, the socks and sliders look isn’t the height of fashion but I have always been a function over fashion kinda gal!

The foam technology in OOFOS footwear is designed to absorb impact and cradle your arches to allow you to move naturally. It also allows your feet to breathe and means they are unrestricted after potentially pounding the pavements for over two hours.

Wanna Get Race Day Ready With Ease?

free race day prep guide

2. Book A Session At Floatworks

Since they opened their first site in Vauxhall, London, Floatworks have gone one to open another site in Angel, North London. Floatworks is the epitome of relaxation and meditation rolled into one.

Photo Credit: Leena Ranchod

If like me you can’t hack a cold shower or ice bath, just swap out for a float in a tank filled with warm water and epsom salts (which are epic for muscles). Sessions are one hour long in your own private room.

I paid a visit to their Angel location after my cyclocross race and thoroughly enjoyed my session. It’s one of the rare opportunities you get to be alone, in silence to just rest.

What strategies do you have in place to recover after a tough workout?! 




Stretch and OOFOS Photos by Anna Rach Photograpghy. 


  1. Miami Fitness Trainer
    May 15, 2016 / 12:52

    Thanks for these relaxation tips Elle! Sound advice for fitness/weight loss hopefuls! Glad I decided to read your post today because I'm always looking for tips and tricks to help fitness clients with post exercise recovery

    • Elle
      October 7, 2019 / 14:25

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Nick Wilson
    May 6, 2016 / 09:22

    Great advice.For my quickly recovery from a tough workout I tried a little light exercise like walking or swimming. Keeping my muscles in motion bring me some relief and don't forget to drink water,lots and lots of water to stay hydrated. Coconut water is very hydrating and a natural source of electrolytes.

    • Elle
      October 7, 2019 / 14:24

      Great additional tips exp re coconut water! I’m a huge fan!

  3. Jeanbluecat
    April 22, 2016 / 14:38

    Just started with a personal trainer and can so relate to the pain and stiffness after work out. Loving your blog!

    • Elle Linton
      April 26, 2016 / 09:33

      There's no slacking with a personal trainer so I am not surprised you feel it the next couple of days! ..and thank you 🙂 x

  4. Jake
    April 21, 2016 / 13:47

    When I've put in a serious workout, I like to end the day by drinking a glass of chocolate soymilk mixed with whey powder, and soaking in a hot bath for at least 30 minutes. Worlds of difference the next day!

    • Elle Linton
      April 26, 2016 / 09:32

      That sounds ah-mazing! It's the little things right?! Defo gonna stock up on some choc almond milk and bubble bath for my next race! 🙂

  5. Laura (the petite passions)
    April 18, 2016 / 19:31

    So right about the cool down! I have to make a conscious effort to do it… My body feels better the next day for it I'm sure!

    • Elle Linton
      April 19, 2016 / 17:50

      Same here! I went to class today and 50% of the class left before the cool down! Remembering what I wrote here, I stayed, I mean, I deserve that extra five minutes, right?! …so does my body! lol 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
6 Core Exercises For Cyclists

There will come a time in your cycling journey (quite similar to running) when you realise that if you want...