Post Marathon Recovery!
Congratulations on finishing your half marathon! It’s a huge achievement! In order to maximise on all your hard work, here is some advice on what to do next…
1) Don’t stop! Although the temptation is to cross the finish line and collapse (while you kiss the ground!), try keep moving. After running for the last few hours, your muscles and your heart need time to adjust to your change in activity. That walk to the car will actually do you good!
2) Have something light to eat, and eat again later. If it’s been hot, be sure to rehydrate adequately as well. Running a marathon will deplete your body’s resources, so it’s important to refuel!
3) Cool down! As lovely as the idea of a nice warm bath might be, a quick jump in the pool or a cold shower can help reduce inflammation and help in your recovery. Compression leggings may also help.
4) Rest! Although the temptation might be to “maximise on your training ” and get out there again quickly, the marathon will have taken a huge toll on your body. You won’t lose fitness in resting for a few days, but returning to running too soon could result in an injury. One rule of thumb is your body takes a day per mile to recover. That means after a marathon, give yourself 26 days before pushing yourself again!
5) Use this time to sort out any problems you may have experienced during your training or the race itself. Have a massage or see a physiotherapist to help sort any niggling injuries. Focus on doing some core strengthening or stretches. Maybe do some cross training like cycling or swimming, which will keep you fit without pounding your body!