Post Marathon Recovery
Well friends. Now that the hard part is over, it is time to do some recovering.
I am not going to lie, my feet were a wee bit tired on after the marathon on Sunday, so I took matters into my own hands on the drive home.
I think an interesting question to look at before we tackle post-marathon recovery is to take a peek at what effect a marathon has on a body. I found the following picture quite helpful.
That’s quite a bit of damage.
The very first thing to do once you cross that finish line (after getting that medal around your neck) is getting some food in your system. You have probably depleted all your stores and it is time to start pushing them back up again. I grabbed a banana and ate it even though I was not hungry in the least.
COMPRESSION – Right after doing some stretches following the race, I immediately changed into my compression tights and socks with my comfy shoes. I find that I have immediate results from compression as I am more mobile and recovery quickly.
MASSAGE – So I was hurting a bit this Tuesday, but I find the second day after a race is when I am the most sore! Knowing this, I booked a massage for Tuesday morning and took an Epson salt bath to flush out muscle waste and recover quickly. I woke up on Wednesday morning and felt AMAZING.
REST – I booked someone to cover my Monday morning spin class and slept in! I also spent the morning resting my legs before heading into the office and teaching an evening spin class… This past week, I have been very careful to not over do it. I have kept my activity to lightly spinning, walking and a pilates class. By Thursday, I felt almost back to normal and ready to lead my trail running clinic.
WATER – As much as possible and all the time! I try to have a cup near me wherever I go to help keep me hydrated and keep my muscles happy.
STRETCHING – I didn’t stretch too intensely after the marathon as my muscles had quite a bit of inflammation. I iced, applied heat and did some walking until my muscles no longer were sore and I was able to go a bit deeper into my stretching.
FOOD – The first thing I had post race was a salad. I was not hungry as I often am not post race, but when the inevitable hunger hit, I focused on refueling on healthy foods and tried to escape the mentality that “I just ran a marathon, I can eat whatever I want!” I had lots of green veggies, protein and some healthy grains.
Here are some other great resources if you are recovering from a big race:
How Long To Recovery After a Race – Running Times – A discussion on how long runners of any age need to recover after racing and workouts.
After the Race – Active – The right things to do to ensure you are back running in no time!
Recovering After Your Marathon is Over – Best things for immediately following a race.