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Post-marathon recovery is very crucial. It is one of the most underappreciated components of running a marathon. Let’s face it: after completing a marathon, you want to relax. You don’t want to consider what you must do to get your body back on track to start exercising again.
If you start training again after a marathon with difficulties in your structure, fascia, or metabolism, you’re putting yourself at risk for issues in the coming months. So let’s approach “marathon recovery” one step at a time.
Consume carbohydrates during the race
Properly fuelling yourself during your marathon may improve your performance and recovery speed. Consuming carbs while running a marathon stops your body from converting muscle protein into energy. As a result, your muscles sustain less injury than they would have otherwise. To complete a marathon, consume 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour.
Keep moving at the finish
Don’t sit down soon after finishing a marathon! Keep moving and strolling for the initial 5 to 10 minutes. The tiredness will set in, but battle it and stay moving to avoid cramping and maintain blood flow. Exercise the week lightly following your marathon by walking, swimming, or cycling.
Increased blood flow to the legs due to these activities will speed up recovery. Since improved blood flow would aid in healing muscle fibers damaged by running. Increased blood flow implies that the muscles may get more nutrients and remove more byproducts from the region.
Your body will benefit in various ways from stretching after a run. Stretching after a run is the main way to reduce injury. Your muscles are more supple after your run has warmed them up. Increasing your range of motion will require less work if you stretch your muscles and joints correctly.
What happens if you decide not to stretch after all? Your body can be in danger because of you. If you don’t stretch after a run, you risk creating tight muscles more susceptible to injury.
Refuel as soon as possible
Eat something after running a marathon. But don’t feel obligated to do so for the first 1-2 hour. However, your body’s supply of carbs gets exhausted. Most runners would be mildly dehydrated. Aim to eat or drink something within 30 minutes of completing.
The optimal snack provides both protein and carbohydrates to help muscles recover. The Veloforte Forza bar has a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.
Drink small amounts of water, or an electrolyte-containing sports drink to hydrate. You lose electrolytes through sweat, which you have likely done lots of over the past several hours. You may have nausea, exhaustion, and muscle cramps if they aren’t replaced.
How much and when should you rehydrate yourself during training runs and races? You can replace fluids in your body with water, sports drinks, and juice. To help you recover faster from long runs, try drinks with maltodextrin or sugar and sodium. Plain water is fine after you run a marathon for less than 1 hour.
Put on dry clothes
Your core temperature will begin to drop as soon as you complete the race. You’ll feel much colder because of your damp, sweaty garments.
Your goal is to help your body transition from the fight-or-flight stress response needed to complete the marathon into a parasympathetic state when healing may occur. And being at ease entails this.
Amazingly, wearing clean, dry clothing can improve your mood. If you wear one, keep in mind to carry a clean bra. Sports bras retain moisture and become extremely unpleasant as you cool down.
After a long race, it feels wonderful to take your shoes off. They may be swollen and sensitive. Try to carry recovery sandals or flip-flops like OOFOS to allow them to breathe.
Do not take anti-inflammatories
Running-related injuries and muscular discomfort are unavoidable. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned ultramarathoner or a beginner. A common alternative to rest is ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, which many runners turn to instead.
It not only makes healing a challenge; it’s harmful to take anti-inflammatories frequently. NSAID has several side effects, like gastrointestinal ulcers and heart disease risk. The side effects depend on the dosage and duration of use.
Long-distance endurance events put athletes under great physiological stress. It might exacerbate existing dangers and create new ones. Race-related muscle damage can also cause blood protein levels to rise. It can, in turn, cause acute kidney impairment. The use of NSAIDs may make this worse.
Hold the post-marathon beer
You shouldn’t consume beer shortly after running a marathon. You need to rehydrate before doing so. Beer and other alcoholic beverages prevent your body from replacing its lost glycogen. Your body requires water and foods high in carbs to accomplish this.
So, shortly after, sip on some water and juice or sports drinks. After that, eat some pizza or spaghetti to help replenish your glycogen stores. Then get a drink to celebrate and keep drinking water to stay hydrated.
Engage in active recovery
A percussion massager isn’t enough to help you recover from a workout. You’ll need to do more than that. Promoting the parasympathetic state is the best way to hasten your marathon recovery.
When in the parasympathetic state, our brain sends signals to our body. It tells them to unwind and concentrate on mending and recovering muscles. Being in the company of close friends and family and spending time in nature is good. It helps release the brain chemicals needed for “rest and recovery.
Get a massage
Your muscles are still recuperating, so opt for a mild massage to relax your muscles. Massaging can also promote circulation and reduce inflammation. You can use a tennis ball, foam roller, or other self-massage instruments to perform some short massages in the comfort of your own home.
Try contrast baths
When reducing inflammation, it’s important to use cold and ice water therapy within 48 hours after a marathon. Rather, choose warm showers and baths to assist your muscles in unwinding.
There isn’t much evidence to back the importance of mineral bath soaks for relieving muscular discomfort when added to bath water. Although, you may discover that it works.
It takes a lot of time to recuperate from the mental and physical effort running a marathon involves. The greatest marathon recovery advice is to recover and rest. Although, many runners skip both in their haste to get back into training after finishing a race.