Cardiff is pretty excited to be hosting the IAAF World Half Marathon in 2016! Wales is gaining a great reputation for holding high profile sporting events, turning out world class athletes and sportspeople; and Cardiff as a city has a world class sporting infrastructure with all the associated facilities you would expect. So if you're visiting Cardiff for the World Half Marathon in 2016, it would be a shame not to stay a little longer and enjoy a recovery break. We've put together our recommendations for some awesome ways to recover from giving Mo Farah a run (!) for his money:
First things first, after running those 13.2 miles, you're probably only going to have one thing on your mind - food! Luckily Cardiff has everything you'll need in that department, whether you're carb back-loading, keeping it clean, or just want to eat your body weight in welsh cakes. Cardiff's most popular fitness café is the aptly named 'Pure Kitchen' in Cardiff Bay. Catering for paleo, gluten-free, low-carb or high-protein diets; wash down your steak & eggs or protein pancakes with a wheatgrass shot or green smoothie. For plant-based goodness visit Cardiff's only vegan restaurant Ana Loka; expect wraps, vegan burgers and tempeh. Or for a less saintly option visit Cardiff Bakestones in the Central Market - fresh welshcakes hot off the um, bake stone..
Ease those aching muscles at one of Cardiff's many luxurious spas. Most offer sports or target massages, saunas, swimming pools as a minimum. The best have floating beds, colour therapy rooms; and a wide variety of equally unpronounceable exotic treatments. Several of the Cardiff hotels have spas attached so if you're staying there you may have access included.
Top of the luxury list is the St David's Hotel and Spa, with all the facilities you'd expect of its 5 stars, plus stunning views out over Cardiff Bay. The Laguna Health Spa is situated right in the centre of town and has a pretty cool Ozone cleaned pool which means less of the nasty chemicals. Further out of town is the world-class Celtic Manor Resort, with a multi-award winning spa and pool with an unique starlit cloud covered ceiling. The Vale Resort is in beautiful countryside not too far from the city, and that's where you'll find the out-of-this-world floating beds!
We couldn't blog about half marathon recovery without including stretching, hey? Best place for stretching in Cardiff? Has to be Cardiff's most beloved Yoga studios Yogafever. Classes run all week but we just love the hot yoga sessions - booking is advised, and so is a bottle of water and a towel!
If you want a slightly less zen, more vigorous workout while you're here, the short trip out of town to one of Wales' best gyms Force Strength and Conditioning is well worth it. Try their legendary Blood, Sweat & Tyres session, and you may just find yourself training alongside the odd Wales international athlete.
Cardiff has loads to do and see but don't miss the opportunity while you're in Wales to see some of the stunning surrounding countryside. Wales' Coast Path runs the entire nation, taking in some of the UK's best beaches.
Inland, the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park is home to mountains, waterfalls and caves all begging to be explored.