Post-Marathon Recovery Tips

What’s the first thing you do after a marathon? Chances are runners tend to switch to a complete halt after racing when in fact they should continue moving! . Here are some tips on how to recover properly from a marathon.

  • Just keep walking. Cross the finish line, get your medal, have your picture taken, and keep walking. Although the first instinct may be to drop to your knees and thank the gods that you’ve finished, that isn’t the best way to go. Think about it: You’ve just asked your body to run for 26.2 miles. It’s still in marathon mode when you finish and is in great need of a transitionary phase. Think like Dory and just keep walking (swimming) because when you do, your heart rate gradually drops, the circulation diverts back to its resting state and flushes lactic acid from the muscles. Walk at least 10 to 15 minutes—back to your car, hotel, or cab.
  • Eat, drink, and be merry. Eat a small snack within the first 30-60 minutes post-race. Save the big meal for later in the day when your appetite returns and you can enjoy that reward meal. Post-race is more about getting in about 200-300 easily digested calories from carbohydrates and protein to maintain blood sugar levels, replenish muscle glycogen, and repair muscle tissue. Half of a turkey sandwich, carrots, and almond butter or pretzels will do the trick. If it’s a hot race, try liquid recovery drinks. If it’s cold, soup gets the job done. Continue to nibble on balanced snacks and meals that include three to four parts carbohydrate to one part protein. Sip fluids during the day to rehydrate.
  • Chill out. Soak in a cold water bath for five to 10 minutes and consider wearing compression tights. Both can aid in decreasing inflammation in your legs and speed the rate of healing.

 

Read more tips on how to recover properly at Ask Coach Jenny. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user Natesh Ramasamy.

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