You’ve done it. You're a marathoner. As the cheers die-down and your breath catches back up to you, the feelings of elation can begin to give way to something else: soreness, tiredness, fatigue. So what are the best ways to fast track your marathon recovery time? We found out.
To start with, marathon recovery should be viewed as being just as important as the training leading up to the event itself, and so we’ve compiled for you some of the best marathon recovery insights to make post-the-event as great as the run itself. Follow the steps below.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY AFTER A MARATHON
Your muscles are damaged, food-stores depleted – yet, likely, you won’t be able to listen to all the signals your body is giving you due to all you’ve just been through. It's estimated most runners competing in a marathon will physically shrink by as much as 1.25cm average due to compression of the spine from impact, and will likely lose significant body mass through dehydration – up to around 10% depending on your pace and the conditions. Running for such a long time and distance is something the average body simply isn’t used to. You’ve pushed yourself past your limit and to get there, taken out a cheque your body will cash back after you’ve finished the race. Of course recovery, like all factors of the race, depends on how fit and well trained you are. Adhering to the guidance below at the different stages of your marathon journey – before, during and after - can severely lower the (potential) weeks of marathon recovery needed to get you back on track.
There is a lot of training needed for the average runner to be marathon ready. Experts recommend beginning your training an absolute minimum of six weeks beforehand with around 65km (40 miles) covered each week. Many training plans start three or four months out from the race. Even from these early training days, your recovery should be top of mind and you should start testing out how best your body reacts to different stretches and getting-back-out-there techniques. The earlier you start the better, so forming a habit after longer training runs in these key areas below could be the thing that gets you to the line healthy and lets you appreciate the achievement more after the big day is done.