There are over 2 million runners who cross a marathon finish line each year. If you are proudly part of this statistic, you have probably spent hours devouring news and research about running tips and tricks.
But how much time and energy have you devoted to marathon recovery? If you’re finding yourself completely exhausted or even ill after finishing those brutal 26.2 miles for you, we have the tips you need to get back on your feet (literally).
Let’s get into it!
Most Effective Marathon Recovery Strategies
Hydrate & Eat
After crossing that finish line, it’s normal to feel fatigued and possibly on the brink of passing out.
Don’t collapse yet! Hydrate yourself as soon as possible. It doesn’t have to be water. Gatorade (your body needs electrolytes) or even soda will do. Just get some fluids into your body. Later on in the day, focus on maximizing your water and considering anti-inflammatory drinks.
Even if you may not be hungry, it’s important to have a few bites of food at this point. Similar to the liquids, it’s not so much about what you eat. It’s more important that you eat in the first place. Nosh down that post-race banana or grab a handful of nuts or raisins. Your body will thank you later!
Rest and Rest Some More
Still on a post-marathon runner’s high? You may be tempted to lace up your sneakers, but don’t. Avoid high-impact exercise for the next few days.
If you must be active, take a walk or ride your bike. Do some gentle stretching or yoga. Just don’t push it too hard! You don’t want injuries after all your hard work.
Whether you’ve been postponing a restorative massage or considering your first whole-body cryotherapy session, now is the time to do it!
In fact, scheduling something that feels good for your body can be a great part of your overall marathon recovery strategy. It’s a great way to explore how your body feels and determine if you need more rest.
It also just helps you feel relaxed and simply makes you feel good. Need we say more?
Easy Does It
After 5-7 days, you may resume running again. However, this is not the time to jump back into long distances.
Instead, focus on easy light runs (no more than four miles at a time max) for 2 days, and cross-train with bicycling, swimming, or other cardio the other 2 days.
The key here is to listen to your body and avoid overdoing anything that could cause damage or injury. This is the most optimal strategy for recovery.
Sleep is King
After a race, you may feel more tired than usual for a few days. This is normal! That run used a lot of energy, right?
In marathon recovery, your body needs lots and lots of sleep. Make sure you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of quality shut-eye per night.
Running a marathon is an exciting accomplishment. Make sure you take care of your body and mind afterward in order to heal promptly.
Do you have any marathon recovery secrets? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below!