You've completed a marathon!
But what's next? RECOVERY
Research states that muscle damage from running a marathon can last up to two weeks. The research also indicates that soreness, or lack of, is not an indicator of your muscles healing. In other words, just because you aren’t sore anymore doesn’t mean that you are fully healed!
If you return to full training too soon–running more and faster than the tissues are ready for–you risk delaying full recovery and the chance to get ready for your next goal.
You could call it the reverse taper!
Some of you will already have new goals set and races in the pipeline but remember your rest and recovery is just as important as your training and each run. Give back to your body when you can - it has carried you a long way and if you want it to continue to carry you to each finish line you need to look after it!
We should aim to gently ease yourself back into running and your normal running schedule or training plan over 4 weeks.
Don't panic though if your eager to get back out there, when we say rest we don't mean no running at all (hooray) just a break from high intensity, high mileage training. Also bear in mind that everyone is different and your recovery and comeback will depend on your own fitness levels, experience and of course injuries and niggles.
We would always advise all runners whatever ability and background to take a few days off completely. Make the most of the time, have a well deserved lie in after the weeks of early morning runs, see your friends and family you ignored for three months of running and eat the foods you cut out from your diet. You did just run 26.2 miles and racked up 100's of miles in the months leading up to it don't forget!
After some TLC and some time to relish in the pride of completing your marathon active recovery is key to getting back to where you want to be. Low intensity activity such as walking, running, stretching, cycling or swimming for 30 to 60 minutes will promote circulation and assist your recovery. Massage therapy and foam rolling can also help relieve muscle soreness and assist recovery by increasing the body’s circulation too.
Whatever you do and whatever you have coming up always remember to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
If you're marathon was a couple of weeks ago and you're now looking for that new challenge, here are a few things people we know have done post marathon:
- Sign up for another one - yes there is a bug and it's rare not to catch it!
- Take it up a notch and look for an Ultra
- Diversify and enter yourself for a Triathlon, Biathlon or something very different a Aquathlon (go on google it)
- Swimming - the sun has joined us and the summer is on it's way, we are luck to have lots of lido's to jump into when it gets hot out there
- Try out a new distance, maybe reduce the distance and take on some more speed work get that 5k or 10k PB
- Join a yoga or pilates group, it is great for getting some flexibility back in the legs post marathon
Well done everyone who has recently run and to those of you with races coming up remember this for afterwards and GOOD LUCK!