Post Marathon Recovery

Hong Kong Marathon 2011 at Lockhart Road by Ceeseven – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

If you too have been running the marathon on Sunday, this week is the crucial time to pay some attention to your body and work on those aching joints and muscles to assist a speedy recovery.


  • Do some gentle walking (or hobbling)
    This may feel counterintuitive but it is important to keep the sore muscles warm and moving. It will help drive out the lactic acid build up and help with the overall recovery quicker. Try walking at least 15-20 minutes daily. Compression tights can also help.


  • Stretch
    Hopefully, this should come naturally to many of you by now. A good gentle stretch will ensure the muscles lengthen from a prolonged state of contracture from the marathon. This may improve the microcirculation and allow the muscle fibres to repair at their optimum. And your joints can always do with a little more flexibility and room to breathe.


  • Massage
    Who can say no? This should not need much introduction. Bring out the rollers.


  • Rest
    Because you have earned it. Be compassionate. Take a break from running for a week or 2 before going back to full training. Do some yoga, cross training or other forms of exercise as desired. Ease gently back into a 30 min run in your 2nd or 3rd week but lower your intensity and distance.


  • Keep hydrated and replenish your carbs (complex)
    Keep your hydration up – try to drink 5-6 cups (1 – 1.5) of water (does not include soda or coffee) a day. Eat some more good complex carbs for the first day or 2 for replenishment – fruits, vegetables etc.


  • Attend to your injuries early
    If you sustained an injury, have it looked at early. Ideally in the first week or two, the earlier the better.


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