Steps to Marathon Recovery

Steps to Marathon Recovery

Congratulations on completing your marathon. Whether it be your first or fifteenth, it’s always a great feeling to run or … crawl across that finish line.  You did what a lot of people cannot do, run 26.2 miles!!

Now you must be having problems going up and down stairs, walking fast, whole body is aching and feels really beat up.  Here are some tips to help you with a speedy recovery because I know you want to get back out there running your heart out.  On average it will take 2-3 weeks after the marathon to fully recover.

5 Recovery Tips The Minute You Cross The Finish Line

  1. Start walking.  Walk 10-15 minutes to get your legs and breathing back to normal.  It will be painful, but continue to walk throughout the day for 15 minutes.
  2. Refuel muscles with meals that include carbs, protein and sodium.  For example, you can eat peanut butter sandwich, banana and gatorade.   If you cannot eat after a race, you can opt for recovery drinks such as Hammer RECOVERITE, CLIF SHOT Recovery, PowerBar Recovery, V8, chocolate milk; most available at your local grocery store.  Check out other Recovery drinks available.
  3. Drink lots of water.
  4. To reduce the inflammation soak your legs in tub of cold ice water or shower your legs with cold water.  Another option to reduce inflammation in your legs is to go for a soothing salt bath.
  5. Sleep and get lots of rest.

Recovery Tips for Day After Your Marathon

  1. Go for a massage or see the chiropractor.
  2. There are products such as The Marathon Stick and Foam Rollers that allow you to do deep tissue massages for hamstrings, calves, thighs and hips yourself.
  3. Do light hamstring and calve stretches to loosen your muscles.  Wear comfortable shoes, your feet will be sore.
  4. Eat enough for recovery but try not to eat too much to gain unnecessary weight.

Recovery Tips Days After Running Your Marathon

  1. The worse thing you can do for marathon recovery is to stop exercising.  A few days after your marathon should be an active resting period, but there should be no running.
  2. Consider doing low impact exercises such as yoga, biking, walking or swimming which are great to keep your legs an body moving.
  3. After week of active resting, you can start to reverse taper your marathon regime.
  4. Start off slow and short and gradually get your legs, lungs and brain ready for another season of running.  If you start to feel pain in your legs or knees, stop and rest.  Keep your running intensity low for at least three weeks.

Giving your body adequate time to heal is best way for recovery and prevent long term injuries in the future.  Remember to always have fun and enjoy your downtime.

Related Running Tips:

  1. What to eat before a race
  2. What to eat for post race recovery
  3. Beginners Guide – How to get started
  4. Toronto Marathon
  5. Marathon Training – Adding Mileage Safely
  6. Best Post Recovery Drinks
  7. Running for weight loss

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