Marathon Recovery Plan:
How to Get Back Soon
Do you think your marathon recovery takes less than two weeks? Consider yourself blessed! Many marathoners need at least three weeks of easy running and rest to recover from this effort.
When do you know you are completely recovered from your last marathon? I will provide you with some guidelines.
Your energy level should be as it was before; you won’t have any problems with your daily activities, and your healthy state of body and mind is back.
Maybe most importantly, your legs and muscles shouldn’t feel sore or stiff anymore.
When in doubt, always take a longer recovery period and consult with an athletics physician.
Marathon Recovery: Age, Gender, Sleep and Mileage
It may sound logical, but many marathoners don’t take their age into account when thinking about recovery time.
Remember that training for a marathon
asks a lot from your body.
If you are well over 40, you won’t recover as fast as a marathoner who is 30 years old and well trained.
All other factors being equal, women generally recover slower than men. This is caused by hormonal differences. Testosterone, the main male hormone, may have a positive impact on marathon recovery time.
The amount and quality of your sleep also has a huge influence on your physical and mental recovery time. Good sleep is always important, but especially after a marathon-like effort. In the first few weeks after the marathon, go to bed at the same time every night and get a solid eight hours of sleep!
A more sophisticated marathon training schedule may also have a positive influence on your marathon recovery. In other words, a higher mileage may shorten your recovery time.
Post-Marathon Recovery Plan
The recovery process starts immediately after you cross the finish line. Does it sound good to sit down and take the fruits of your labor? Please read on!
Keep moving if you can – this is the best way to help your body return to its resting state. Both your heart rate and blood flow need to get back to their normal state and walking for at least 10 minutes after the race will be of great help.
In cold weather, make sure to put on warm clothes or a blanket directly after you cross the finish. Your body will cool down quickly after you stop running.
Ice your legs and do so every few hours after the marathon. Do it for 5-10 minutes at a time to calm down the blood flow to your legs.
Additionally, give your legs a refreshing, cold shower. Avoid a hot tub as this will have an opposite effect and prolong your recovery.
Take good care of damaged feet and toes. Blisters, for instance, need to be dealt with properly. Be careful with infections and take your post-marathon recovery process seriously!
Marathon Recovery Training
Are you a marathoner who likes to return to running the day after the marathon race? Don’t push yourself and risk injury.
First week after the marathon
Avoid running and other exercise forms in which you use your running muscles. Running too early after a marathon will do more harm than good. If you feel you just have to go, try a walk and enjoy the environment. Give some relaxation to your mind as well!
Second week after the marathon
Include some easy cross training in your daily activities. Think about swimming, cycling, yoga or pool running. How long should these sessions last? My advice is to engage in them for no longer than 45 minutes. Wait at least 10 days before you return to easy running.
Third week after the marathon
Return to easy running or jogging when you felt completely fine - but remember, make it an easy week and don’t run more than three times this week. Include a rest day after every running day. Watch your heart rate and keep it low!
Fourth week after the marathon
You should feel energized by now. If not, be careful with your running. Gradually go back to your normal training volume in the next few weeks. Make sure to do most training sessions on soft surfaces to give your body an easy time.
When should you run your next marathon? This depends on the individual. Are you a first time marathoner? I would suggest waiting at least a few months before you start thinking about your next marathon.
Nutrition to Recover Faster
Last but not least, it's time to discuss your marathon nutrition
. An important part of your marathon recovery process is proper nutrition and hydration after the marathon. Here are a few tips:
- Replace your fluids and electrolytes immediately after the marathon
- Replenish your ATP energy stores
- If you have not urinated within four to six hours after the marathon, find a doctor. This may be a serious sign of kidney failure
- Eat some high-carbohydrate, salty snacks
I hope these marathon recovery tips help you to quickly recover from your marathon experience!
No matter whether you are a beginning marathon runner, or a seasoned marathoner, you will definitely reap the benefits of reading my 70 marathon tips post.
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