Best Practices for Post-Marathon Recovery

You did it! After weeks of discipline, your hard work has finally paid off and you have finished a marathon. With the accomplishment of this goal fresh in your mind, it’s time to focus on maintaining the fitness you have earned in a way that circumvents injury. Though crossing the finish line is a cause for celebration, intelligent recovery practices can be one of the most rewarding aspects of running!

Immediately After The Race

First things first: eat! Your body has just finished an intensive workout and your muscles need to recover. Importantly, your fuel reserves are depleted and must be restored in order to begin the recovery process. After you cross the finish line, make sure food is part of the celebration. Even if your appetite is squashed from fatigue, try to eat something that provides the carbohydrates and protein that your muscles so desperately are looking for.

Help your muscles recover from the stress that they experienced during the race. Take the time to stretch thoroughly and properly. This will help prevent tight muscles and tendons and, though it’s tempting to sit down, you will be happy you chose to stretch walking is an easier task later on! Additionally, using a roller to lightly place pressure on your muscles in order to release adhesions which have formed from the intense physical activity that you have just done.

 

Take a Break From Running

Yes, it is time to stop running for a bit! After forming the habit of lacing up your running shoes and racking up miles on a daily basis it may seem unnatural to stop. However, taking an adequate break from running is an absolutely essential key to recovering without injury. Depending on your fitness level, experience, and total time ran during your race, recovery will be different for everyone. If you are using the half marathon as a launching point toward a full marathon, patience is key.

 

For those running a half marathon for the first time, 1–2 weeks of rest can be extremely beneficial. Importantly, you must listen to your body — if it still feels tired, simply do not run! Those who have ran multiple half marathons and have built an adequate base of weekly miles may be able to take less time off. For these types of runners, just 2–5 days of recovery may be necessary.

If you went the full 26.2, prepare to give your body some extra love and time off. Most importantly, listen to what your muscles are telling you. In the days after the marathon, avoid running completely. If you feel like you can run after a few days make sure you keep both distance and effort short and slow. Even if you feel close to 100%, your body is still repairing. It may be best to consider low intensity cross-training like yoga during this time. During the second week, slowly increase your training intensity. Finally, use the third week after your marathon to begin ramping your average distance and intensity back to normal. The key to a safe recovery is a gradual increase back to normal over jumping back into things.

One of the most important aspects of post-marathon training is focus. Using NIO FOCUS Pre-Workout™ assists in providing crucial nootropics which improve the mind-body connection and promotes awareness and injury-free recovery.


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