Running a marathon can be an exhilarating experience. You train for months, meticulously running, exercising, and logging regular speed sessions to increase your strength and endurance.
When race day arrives, you get to show off your months of hard work and bask in the sense of achievement after making it to the finish line.
But the post-marathon time is also a critical component of the marathon, and is often neglected by runners.
Not paying attention to the post-marathon period can increase your recovery time, the risk of injuries and musculoskeletal issues, and limit your long-term potential as a runner.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your post-marathon recovery:
Replenish and Warm-Up ASAP
As soon as you cross the finishing line, your body starts getting cold. Make sure you wrap yourself in warm clothes or a blanket to prevent your muscles from seizing up.
Get some nourishment as soon as possible, such as sports drinks, energy bars, fruits such as bananas, or a bagel.
Taking an Ice Bath Helps
Consider taking an ice bath once you get back to your home or hotel room. The icy water constricts the blood vessels and lowers metabolic activity. This lowers the risk of tissue breakdown and reduces swelling in the muscles.
Once you get out of the bath, the underlying tissues warm up quickly, causing blood flow to increase exponentially. The optimal temperature for an ice bath is 55 degrees, but anything less than 65 degrees works well.
Rest and Rejuvenate For At Least Three Days
Post-marathon, your body needs to heal and get some rest and lovin’. Soak your body in a hot tub for at least 10–15 minutes every day, each day and stretch after coming out of the bath.
Consume foods rich in proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates to replenish lost muscle mass and healthy fats in the body. Try some light massages for the first three days and avoid taking any deep tissue massages.
Ease Your Body Back Into Action
Four days after your marathon, start taking some easy runs of two to four miles. This will help promote the flow of blood back to your legs and help you get back in shape quicker.
Incorporate some cross-training into your routine while slowly easing into light workouts for 30–40 minutes at medium intensity. Also, consider an Epsom salt bath to relax your muscles and release any tension build-up.
Consider Sports Massages and Manual Therapies
Post-recovery sports massages are a great way to loosen up aching and tense muscles. Manual therapy treatments such as stretching and focused exercising can help you get back to training for your next race in no time!
Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute offers expert sports massages and active release therapies for active individuals. The leading sports medicine and physiotherapy clinic in the greater Toronto area comprises highly-skilled medical professionals and physiotherapists.
We can help you lead an active and healthy life through a range of services including physiotherapy in Toronto, shockwave therapy, and prescription orthotics for your feet.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment!