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Previous Articles

Training - The Critical Weeks

This is the key part of your training program


Should You Eat Before A Run?


Marathon Training & Life Balance


Knee Pain Prevention


What's The Best Marathon Training Program?


Finding Time To Do Your Marathon Training


Vary Your Training

 & run a better marathon


Marathon Recovery


Setting Your Marathon Time Goal


Getting Started

Thoughts on Deciding to Run a Marathon


Conquer Those Hills!

How to overcome the hill challenges


Marathon Countdown

Tips on getting ready for the big event!


Running A Marathon

An imaginary account of the race


Marathon Success Secrets


How To Improve Your Training


Keep on Track With The Right Schedule


Diet Pointers


Runners' Diet & Nutrition


Training Tips For Beginners


Hot Weather Running


Be A Marathon Mentalist

-Sports Psychology


Marathon Training - Recovery Days


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'26.2' - The Marathon Training Website:  

Marathon Recovery

Running a marathon takes its toll on you, both physically and mentally. How well you recover depends on how hard your race was, and your activity level and attitude during the weeks following the race. So what can you do to speed up the recovery process and get back to your regular running routine?

 
 
  


Things to do after the race

Although you probably don’t feel like it – you should walk around the finish area for fifteen minutes or so. Do some stretching as well to help your muscles gradually relax. Eating some of the post race snacks like bananas and apples is beneficial. Make sure to drink plenty of water and a sports drink like Gatorade.

If you want to take a bath, make sure the water is not too hot. Many experts say this can aggravate sore muscles.

If you have any sore muscles, try an ice pack for a few minutes. An anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen may help. Treat blisters and chafes right away to avoid any infection that could occur.

You can look forward to a good dinner that evening with plenty of carbohydrates. My personal preference is to add some good quality protein like lean steak or chicken breast.

Resuming running

How soon after your marathon should you start running?

Some people swear that you shouldn’t run for at least a week. Others say run after a few days to clear out the lactic acid build-up in the calf muscles.

If you had a relatively comfortable marathon and finished without too much pain and

 

suffering then you will probably benefit from running three easy miles about three days after the race. Everybody is different though; so don’t push it if your body starts to complain after the first few steps!

Muscle soreness can actually get worse two or three days after the marathon.

You definitely need to take it easy if you feel this happening. After my first marathon, I couldn’t walk downstairs comfortably for almost a week!

If you do a walk-run combination (for example alternate running for 5 minutes then walking for the next 5 minutes) this will help a lot during the recovery period.

 

The Recovery Period

How long does it take to recover completely from the marathon?

A standard rule-of thumb is one day per mile, or twenty-six days, although I have known people who run another marathon within two weeks.

When you resume regular running after a week or two, expect to be tired, even on short runs. This can persist for a couple of weeks and the best thing is to simply listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Take it easy!

Once you get through this recovery period you will be feeling quite strong again, and ready for new challenges.

 

Tapering in Reverse

Just as you tapered off with decreasing weekly mileage in the weeks just prior to the marathon you need to do the opposite after the race. Here is a typical post race schedule:

 

Week 1:

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

Walk

Walk

3

Walk

Rest

4

Walk

 

Week 2:

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

3

Rest

5

Walk

Rest

6

Walk

 

 

è  I have found walking breaks during my recovery runs have been extremely beneficial.

 

I believe that the lower impact from walking relieves the stress on your muscle tissue, but you still get the benefit of the increased blood flow from the exercise.

 

è  You should also avoid running hills while you are recovering from the marathon.

 

If you have access to off-road trails, your legs will appreciate the softer surface.

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 Mental Recovery

 After weeks of training and focusing on the race, it’s finally over. Now what?

 After completing the marathon, many people experience a feeling of depression and lack of interest in resuming running. “I’m too tired” is a frequent rationale for not getting back into the regular routine.

 

This can be related to your marathon performance. If you met or exceeded your expectations and had a good race and easy recovery, you are less likely to feel this way. Whatever the case, it helps to recognize the symptoms and take action to minimize the problem.

 

A cross training activity can help because it’s different from running and that puts you in another mindset.

 

Talking about your experience with family and friends is also good. Don’t forget, the fact that you crossed the finish line puts you in a special ‘club’ of marathon finishers. This is a major accomplishment and you need to enjoy the moment.

 

A running club is anther great way to overcome the post-marathon blues. It’s interesting to learn about the other runners’ marathon experiences, and their plans for the next one.

 

Before you know it you’ll be caught up in the enthusiasm (and yes, the bravado!) and you’ll be planning on improving your time in your next marathon attempt.

 

 

 


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