With marathon season in full force, it is important to not only think about the preparation phases before your marathon, but it is also critical to think about marathon recovery post-event.
Running a marathon of 26.2 miles is a grueling endurance challenge both mentally and physically. Being ill-prepared (either pre-or post-event) usually leads to common injuries such as muscle cramps, sprains, strains and stress-fractures.
The first 72 hours post marathon are the most critical to a speedy recovery. These three steps will ensure you treating your body with care, will allow you to return to activity quicker, and will prevent common marathon related detrimental injuries.
- Stay Active
- After the first 48 hours of pure recovery, plenty of restful sleep and light stretching, at the 72-hour mark activity become critical to recovery. Do your best to avoid being stationary. Swimming, spinning or even a light session with your trainer (light weights and mobility/flexibility) will help flush out toxins from the body.
- Eat Quality Foods
- The post marathon body is in a vulnerable state and is prone to sickness from a weakened immune system. Ensure that you are fueling your body with nutrient rich and calorie dense foods (food high in good fats such as nuts, seeds and avocados).
- Book a Massage
- Your calves, feet, hamstrings, glutes and quads will be screaming at the end of your race. Another great way to flush toxins and promote blood flow (ie: tissue regeneration) is to see a massage therapist who specializes in sport related massage.
After the first 72 hours of recovery is over, it is still not recommended to lace up those running sneakers for 2 full weeks. If you follow a strict recovery protocol, you’ll have prevented injuries, sicknesses and you’ll be ready to begin the process of getting your stride back!