Running a marathon is exciting…it gets your adrenaline rushing, doesn’t it? You might spend months training your body for the D-day but be taking care of it after the big run is equally important. Post marathon recovery is very crucial as it helps you to heal faster and get you back to your best running at the earliest.
We put our best foot forward when training for a marathon, letting the body go through all kinds of rigorous workouts. But hardly do we plan in prior for its revival process which is essential after running a marathon.
To avoid any injuries, it is crucial to recovering from sore muscles, cellular damage and suppressed immune system caused due to running for a long distance.
Effective Post Marathon Recovery Steps
Getting back to your running routine too soon can increase your total recovery time and might cause long-term damages. Just by planning and following an effective post marathon recovery program , you will be able to get back in shape faster with a fresh lease of energy to train for your next big run!
Treat your aching muscles and joints with lots of ice! It helps to relieve pain by lowering blood flow to the problem areas which in turn reduces any swelling.
Go for an ice bath after your run , to cure your feet, ankles, knees and back from pain.
Catch Some Sleep
The body’s natural process of repair and recovery happens as we sleep.
Catching a nap for 1-2 hours immediately after the run and an extra hour or two for a few nights after the race will help to heal the body.
Don’t Drop Dead!
Rest is absolutely necessary after a marathon. But does that mean you should hit the bed and lay there till the next morning? Definitely not!
If you sit idle for hours (you will be tempted to), your muscles will get tighter, hindering your body from recovering completely. So, it’s best to walk around a little in between your rest , in order to loosen your muscles and slowly regain the lost strength.
Our body uses up all its energy resources while running long distances. To make up for the lost energy, we must replenish the body with lots of water or chocolate drink which help in fuelling the body with nutrients immediately.
Having protein-rich food like a protein shake, bananas, blueberries etc. helps to quickly regain the right amount of energy.
Say No to Junk Food
It is natural for you to crave for all kinds of foods after burning tons of calories. Make up your mind to stick to a healthy diet and avoid overeating.
Say no to sports drinks, energy boosters and junk foods that contain artificial sweeteners and are high in calories as well. This is necessary if you want to maintain your fitness and not let your pre-marathon training effort and fitness level go in vain!
Allow Your Body to Heal
Some of you may feel like hitting the tracks immediately a day after the marathon. It is definitely good to move around rather than turn into a couch potato, swearing to never run again!
But you should know that a few days of good rest and complete recovery before returning to your running routine is highly essential, to prevent your body from any injury. Physically exerting your body too soon can delay your recovery time.
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Slow and Easy Training
Though you may feel all good and ready to run another big marathon, don’t rush. Starting slow and easy after your post marathon recovery is the key to a fit and healthy body.
Start off with brisk walks, mild exercises or short bike rides before heading back to a rigorous workout routine.
Also, know about How to Prevent the Marathon Wall?
Avoid Complex Stretches
Don’t start off your workout by subjecting your body to the pre-marathon level of exercise. One of the essential post marathon recovery steps is to begin with a mild stretching of your calf muscles, hamstrings, quads and hips.
Make sure you avoid complex stretches as they can cause those delicate, sore areas to tear easily.
Go for Cross-Training Activities
Rather than going for sudden heavy workouts, it’s best to start with light activities and mild cross-training exercises . This helps to restore your muscle energy and ensures a healthy recovery, without causing any damage to your body.
Your Body Says It All
After running a marathon, it is important that you listen to what your body says and not force yourself to run.
This is because post marathon recovery time varies from person to person and it’s absolutely fine if you don’t get back to running immediately! So, the next time you feel disappointed while your friends are up and running within a week, shed that feeling, recover effectively and spring back stronger when your body is ready!
If you don’t want to be left out while your friends hit the running track again, here are some tips to help you become a consistent runner!
Now that you know the necessary recovery steps to be followed after running a marathon, go ahead and sign up for the upcoming big race. With steps as simple as these, running and recovery should be a cakewalk!
So, plan your post marathon recovery procedure, grab your running shoes and enjoy the run. Don’t forget to tell us your story here!