Congratulations, you have completed your very first marathon! Now what? Use the following recovery tips to help you feel your best in the days and weeks ahead.
- Gentle stretching: As mentioned in previous blog posts, focus on stretching of the large muscle groups: hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and calves. Static stretching is best (holding the stretching for approximately 30 seconds at a time).
- Massage: Massage will help relief muscle soreness and stiffness. Communicate your areas of soreness to your massage therapist and let them know to be gentle as you just ran a marathon. The idea of a massage is to bring blood flow to the area to allow for recovery and healing. Check out this previous blog post on 8 reasons to consider getting a massage the week after the marathon and click here to find and Athletico massage therapist.
- Contrast bath: Take two large trash cans (fill one with warm water and the other with ice cold water). Put your entire body into the cold water, sit for 5 minutes, and then transfer your entire body into the warmer water. Sit for another 5 minutes. Repeat this 2 to 3 times. This will cause blood to flow in and out of the area, which helps facilitate healing.
- Listen to your body: What works for one person might not work for another. While it might take your friend a week or two to get back to running, it may take you three to four, and that’s okay! Our bodies all recover at different speeds.
- Get plenty of rest: Remember your body is in recovery mode and sleep is crucial for the recovery process. Listen to your body and don’t feel guilty about sleeping more than normal!
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between soreness and injury. Please do not wait too long to see a medical professional. In most cases, your soreness is due to the stress that the marathon has put your body through as opposed to a specific injury. If you are experiencing any nagging aches and pains that you would like to have checked out, contact your nearest Athletico for a complimentary injury screening.