Recovery is a very important aspect, yet often neglected component of training. This is particularly so after a long distance race like the marathon. The recovery is just as important as the training. The consequences of not having proper recovery can be very severe. You may experience a bout of overtraining or you may even sustain an unwanted injury due to improper recovery.
So, what actually happens to your body? After the marathon distance, your energy stores are depleted, your body is dehydrated and your muscles experience microscopic tears. On average, runners lose about 2 kg after the marathon distance. This is the amount of fluid loss your body experiences.
Here are 4 great tips to help you recover from your marathon faster!
#1 Change Out Of Your Race Gear, Pronto!
If you pay attention, elite athletes are very efficient at changing out of their race gear into long tracksuits. After a run, your sweat pores remain open. Staying in your wet damp clothes will cause your body to cool down too quickly. This combined with the fact that your immune system is lowered due to the stress you put your body through can cause you to catch a cold or fall ill.
#2 Drink Up
Your body can lose approximately 2 – 3 kg of fluids – that is a lot! Your body is in a dehydrated state post marathon. This is why you should drink up at the finishing line. Grab some isotonic drinks or water and replenish your fluids. Isotonic drinks are good because it also helps replace the salt and minerals lost through the sweating process.
#3 Eat, Eat, Eat
Yes, you definitely deserve that cake after conquering the marathon distance, no doubt! However, it’s also important not to overdo the eating cake and crisp and drinking. And also, wait a couple of hours before indulging. This is because high-fat food slows down the digestion of post-race carbs, hence impeding recovery. So, remember to eat post-race carbs to replenish your glycogen stores and protein-rich food to help repair your muscles that have worked so hard.
Read More: What To Eat And Drink After Your Big Race
#4 Stretch & Foam Roll
By recover, we don’t mean just sit down and watch tv for the entire week but do short recovery jogs, stretch, and foam roll. Recovery jogs at a slow pace helps promote blood circulation and hence helps flush out the lactic acid accumulated in your muscles. This will help reduce muscle soreness. Stretching and foam rolling will help ease tight spots!