You’ve just crossed the finish line of your marathon and collected your medal and goody bag. “How do I recover after a marathon?” I hear you ask. Firstly, a massive congratulation – you are amazing!!
Now what do you do?
- Keep moving – this will help your heart rate drop back down to normal, your circulation to return to its resting state and flush lactic acid from your muscles. Don’t just stop even though you and your body want to. Gently walk for about 10-15 minutes.
- Drink – keep sipping fluids to help your body rehydrate.
- Eat – have a small snack when you finish the race and then have a larger meal later when your appetite has returned. You want to take in about 200-300 easily digested calories from carbohydrates and protein to maintain blood sugar levels, replenish muscle glycogen and repair muscle tissue.
- Elevate your legs – do this as soon as you can to help gently stretch the legs and refresh circulation. Try this yoga pose for 5-10 minutes
- Rest and relaxation – if possible, plan time to rest after the race. Going straight back to work the next day can slow your recovery. Also try to get more sleep during the recovery period, take a power nap!
- Massage – ideally wait 24 hours before having a recovery massage, this allows your muscles time to replenish fluids and recover lost energy.
- Take a break – give yourself time to recover from the race. Try taking gentle walks for a few days before going out for a run. When you do start running again, take it easy and don’t push yourself.