The amount of time, energy, grit and guts that go into training for and running a marathon is huge. We set our sights on the big day, but often we don’t think too much beyond that to the marathon recovery. What we do the day after or two days after is important, but after an intense few months of preparing our bodies to race it is important to let yourself rest. Marathon recovery is as much physical as it is mental, especially if you’re coming off a disappointing race outcome.
Here are a few tips to aid your next recovery.
Make refueling and rehydrating a priority, your body needs nutritious food, water and electrolytes to replace what was lost during your race effort. Consider an ice bath shortly after your race and compression wear to aid recovery.
The Week After:
Some runners swear by shake out runs and other prefer to multiple days off or even a week off after a big marathon effort. It is a good idea to move after a big race as it gets blood moving back into muscles delivering much needed nutrients. But a more conservative approach can never hurt you, while doing too much too soon can lead to injury.
Two Weeks After:
Resume your normal running schedule but cut your weekly mileage and intensity by about 50 percent. There can be deep fatigue in the muscle especially if you’ve raced hard. Take it easy and listen to your body, chronic soreness that persists after a big race could be the onset of injury.