Post Marathon Recovery
Now that you have successfully completed the marathon you need to start thinking about your body’s recovery. Below are some tips-
· As uncomfortable as it may be, keep walking after you finish your race for 5-10 minutes; this will help prevent joint stiffness and muscle tightness minimising the onset of pain and aiding the recovery process.
· Ensure you change into a warm set of clothes as soon as possible to prevent hypothermia.
· Eat a high carbohydrate-protein combined snack within 30 minutes after completing your race. The carbohydrates kick start the replacement of muscle energy stores, the protein aids muscle repair. Eat a balanced meal within 2 hours after your race and ensure you rehydrate adequately.
· Spend 10-20 minutes performing static stretches to prevent the onset of muscle soreness over the following days. Continue this routine for a few days. See attached stretches.
· Soak your body in a cold bath (ice bath), lake or ocean within a few hours of your race. This aids in decreasing inflammation in the working muscles, thereby easing pain and aiding recovery.
· Foam Rolling can be used to self-release tight muscles post-race.
· A massage in the week following your race will aid your recovery and reduce muscle tightness.
Allow sufficient time for your body to rest before returning to training. To start back try cross training/low intensity exercise such as walking, swimming, or the cross trainer to aid recovery without subjecting your body to large impact forces.
Consult your Chartered Physiotherapist if you have any aches, pain or niggles that do not settle within a few days’ post-race. They can perform an assessment, give you a diagnosis and treat you as required.