Marathon Recovery Tips

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Disclaimer: These are my personal marathon recovery tips, but you should consult with your coach, trainer or medical professional on a recovery plan that fits your needs.

Recovering from a marathon and a distance of 26.2 miles is a very important component of your perfect training plan. Unfortunately, most runners often neglect marathon recovery tips and jump right back into training when the soreness is gone.

The runners high is real, we just have accomplished something so great and now we have to rest? Tapering was so boring already and now we really have to hold back even longer? Yes, this is exactly what a marathoner should do to avoid unwanted injuries. In partnership with my friends from Biofreeze, I prepared my marathon recovery tips for you to avoid injuries after the marathon. Learn how to recover from a marathon with the best Biofreeze products– the #1 clinically recommended pain relief brand. Find out how to benefit for your long-term potential as a runner with a marathon recovery plan.

Marathon Recovery Tips: What is going on post race?

Marathon RecoveryFirst of all, if you don't recover properly from a marathon you will most likely experience symptoms of overtraining. Running a marathon is tough on the body. Almost every physiological system is pushed to the max during the 26.2 miles: Muscles, hormones, tendons, cells - everything is maxed out. It doesn't even matter if you are running a Boston qualifier time, or if the race was your very first marathon. 26.2 miles is a hell of a distance and your body has undergone tremendous physical duress. Don't forget about the stress you have put on your body running according to your marathon training schedule.

What happens to your body after running a marathon?

We have seen the pictures where runners weren't able to walk the stairs after running a marathon, which occurs because of intense muscle soreness and fatigue caused by running the long-distance of 26.2 miles. Give your body 2 weeks post-marathon to return to full strength. Your immune system is severely compromised, which increases the risk of contracting colds and the flu after running a marathon especially until 3 days after the race. Try to rest as much as possible and focus on a healthy diet with nutrient-rich foods plus a lot of water. My marathon recovery tip is to have a 2-3 week marathon recovery protocol that focuses on rest and rejuvenation of these physiological systems such as muscle, cellular, and your immune system.

Marathon Recovery Tips: Post marathon training

Biofreeze Spray for recoveryHere are some marathon recovery tips for the 3 weeks after your marathon. Rest smart and find your way back to training with these post-marathon training tips.

Days 1-3

Running: None Cross Training: None Marathon Recovery Advice
  • Take a hot bath for at least 15 min, foam roll or stretch afterward.
  • Your diet should include a lot of vitamins, carbs, and proteins to help your muscle repair and boost your immune system.
  • Apply Biofreeze gel to your legs and massage the legs very light to loosen your muscles. No deep tissue massages

Days 4-7

Running: One day, 2-4 miles very easy Cross Training: Optional – Two days, 30-40 minutes easy effort. Promoting blood flow to the legs is the main goal, not building fitness. Use the Biofreeze spray pre and post-run to benefit from the cooling effect on your muscles. You are probably still very sore, so Biofreeze will help you to be able to run those first miles after the marathon. Marathon Recovery Advice
  • Keep on track with your healthy diet. Drink a lot of water.
  • Schedule a deep tissue massage.
  • About an hour before bed, massage your legs out with the stick or self-massage and then apply Biofreeze gel to your legs.

Days 7-14

Running: Four days of 4-6 miles very easy. Cross Training: Optional – Three sessions total, but not more. One easy session and two medium effort sessions for 30-45 minutes. Marathon Recovery Advice
  • Apply a Biofreeze patch before your training. The patches are designed to provide up to 8 hours of long-lasting pain relief and are made of inflexible fabric for superior performance and comfort.

Days 14-21

Running: Begin to slowly build back into your regular training. My suggestion is up to five runs of 4-8 miles with 4 x 20-sec strides after each run. Cross Training: 1 easy session, 1 medium session, and 1 hard session of 40-50 minutes. Marathon Recovery Advice
  • Don’t worry about losing endurance or fitness during this recovery period.
  • Keep massaging your legs with Biofreeze before bed.
  • It takes up to 3 weeks until you are back into good shape after running a marathon, so don't stress yourself.
  • Try not to schedule a race until 6 weeks after your marathon. Patience is a virtue, but it will pay off in the end.
Why you can trust Sabrina Wieser
Runningbrina is committed to bringing you unbiased ratings and information. Her editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Sabrina uses data-driven methodologies to evaluate all products, so all brands are measured equally.
  • Most featured running blog, past 6 years
  • USATF certified running coach
  • Experienced endurance athlete
  • 7 marathons

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