Congratulations on finishing the marathon – what an accomplishment! 26.2 miles is an incredible feat by the human body and mind. We know that after the race, our body and mind can be in a state of disarray. Not only is 26.2 taxing on our legs, but it takes its toll on our blood flow, digestion, and our ability to function in the coming hours, days, and weeks.
Proper recovery is critical after a marathon. Following appropriate steps when going from a significant distance to a regular running schedule will help prevent injuries. Here are some physical therapist-approved tips to make sure your body gets what it needs and deserves so you can celebrate your fantastic achievement.
This action helps lower your heart rate gradually by diverting blood circulation to your legs and arms. Walking will return the body to a normal balance while flushing lactic acid from those muscles.1
Now that you’re recovered immediately after the race, what should you be doing in the coming days and weeks? First things first, don’t rush back into long runs. It’s essential to give your muscles the proper recovery to avoid future injuries. Use these tips in maximizing your post-race recovery and gradually returning to a regular running routine.
Soreness is normal after a long race like a marathon. Be mindful of lasting soreness that turns to pain, especially pain that turns sharp in intensity. Things to look out for:
If you have lingering pain or an injury following your marathon, it’s essential to seek help before your condition worsens. Should you experience pain or injury when returning to your regular running routine, schedule a Free Assessment with our endurance experts. We are happy to help you recover so you can get back to doing what you love. Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Johnson, Jay. “5 Golden Rules of Marathon Recovery.” ACTIVE.com, Active.com, 14 Nov. 2012, https://www.active.com/running/articles/5-golden-rules-of-marathon-recovery.
2. “Marathon Recovery: What to Eat & What to Avoid.” Technogym, 26 July 2016, https://www.technogym.com/us/wellness/marathon-recovery-what-to-eat-after-a-run-and-what-to-avoid/.
3. “Hyperice.” https://hyperice.com/.
4. Jenny Hadfield and Runner’s World Editors. “You Can Speed up Recovery after a Hard, Long Run, so You Don’t Have to Avoid the Stairs All Week.” Runner’s World, 1 May 2021, https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20794063/how-should-i-recover-post-marathon/.