Post Marathon: The key to Recovery

Start your marathon recovery on the right foot



Marathon recovery

Congratulations: you've run your marathon! Now, unless you wish to spend the next few weeks plagued with soreness, sniffles and a soul-sapping sense of apathy, read on.

What you do in the days following a marathon is just as important as what you did before. Running 26.2 miles places high demands on the body and you’re likely to end up with depleted fuel stores, accumulated fluid in the muscles, dehydration and perhaps some damaged muscle tissue. So, not surprisingly, you will be susceptible to injury and infection after the race. You may also be feeling disorientated – or even depressed – in the come-down after achieving such a significant running goal.

Unfortunately, there’s no formula for calculating how long your body will take to recover – this will vary from runner to runner. A seasoned marathon runner – or someone whose training plan included a high mileage base – can expect to bounce back quicker than a marathon novice for example.

What you can do though, is make sure you know exactly what your body needs. Here’s how to deal with the most common post-marathon ailments, how to combat the blues and, of course, top advice on when and how to resume running.

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Discuss this article

I did my 1st Marathon just over 3 weeks ago and my legs (especially my knees) still don't feel right.  I've done no running but had a couple of short relatively easy rides on my bicycles.

I'm starting to get annoyed as now the weather is getting better I want to be doing more riding but I don't want to risk injury and ruin the summer.

My leg muscles were back to normalish in a week and I've continued to weight train since, possibly more as I've got more time on my hands.


Posted: 28/03/2016 at 21:14

Try a run. Your legs may hurt for a minute or two but you'll probably find your legs coming back to you.
Posted: 28/03/2016 at 23:14

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