- The Rundown
- Recovering from Marathons
Recovering from Marathons
Tips to help you recover from a marathon
Marathon Recovery Tips
So you’ve completed your marathon. Congrats! Approximately 1.1 million runners complete a marathon each year putting you in a category with only 0.01% of the world’s population. What do you do now? Before getting started on your training plan for the next race, here are a few ideas to help you recover.
Immediately Following the Race
Keep walking, and avoid sitting down immediately following the race. Eat food, celebrate, and when you arrive home, take a shower to decrease the swelling in your legs. Cold water is best. The cold has regenerative properties that increases circulation and stimulates a response in the blood vessels that will help your muscles relax and repair.
You’ve probably heard that the gold standard for optimal sleep 7-8 hours a night. However, aim for 9-10 hours of sleep during your recovery week. It typically takes 7 days for cellular damage to fully recover after a marathon and the extra sleep will support and accelerate your recovery process. If you’re struggling to hit this number, squeeze in naps during the week. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to soreness or stiffness, try incorporating a bath or shower. Some light stretching or foam rolling before bedtime can decrease some of your tension - see more on that below!
Go for Light Walks
This is a perfect way to get your body moving again! A 15-20-minute walk around the block or through the neighborhood will ease your body back into activity. Consider inviting a friend to join you, walk your dog or listen to a podcast while enjoying the bliss of being outside. If walking isn’t your thing, a short, try an easy recovery ride on a stationary bike.
Things You Enjoy (NOT running)
After running filled so much of your free time while training for your marathon, it’s possible that you’re now stir-crazy since you’re not running as much. Resist the urge to run! Allow yourself to rest so the body can fully recover. Try dedicating your spare time to the other things in life that bring you joy, while still allowing your body to relax.