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author: Lori Zikuska | 05.09.2018 at 09:15 | 0 Comments

Top 5 Marathon Recovery Tips: How to perform better and recover quicker

Months of training, physical and mental preparation are just as important as finding the right shoes for a marathon. But what about 42.195 kilometers later? Aftercare belongs to a marathon just as the preparation does and it is crucial to proper recovery.

#1 Marathon Recovery Tips: Replenish glycogen stores immediately after the race
After this extreme physical exercise, the window for best glycogen replacement is open to the max. Your body needs carbs now – as soon as possible. If you consume a cereal bar or a sugary drink immediately after the race, you’ll provide energy for your body fast. Later, it is recommended to eat complex carbs with a high glycemic index like sweet potatoes, whole grain pasta or brown rice. Aside from that, after running more than 40 kilometers, your body is going to be mostly one thing: dehydrated. Don’t forget to drink enough liquids!

#2 Marathon Recovery Tips: Easily digestible foods and protein in the evening
Many runners experience an upset stomach after a marathon, so it might be a good idea to opt for easily digestible food in the evening after the race. We already established that carbs are important – but your body will also want some extra protein now. During the hours of running a marathon, your body uses around 40g of amino acids – which are needed for rebuilding protein structures. This way, you can protect muscles and strengthen the immune system which can be highly impaired after a marathon. It also helps enhancing the glycogen replenishment if you consume protein and carbs in a 1:4 ratio.



#3 Marathon Recovery Tips: Pampering on the day after
If you don’t deserve a piece of cake or another treat now – when will you ever? While indulging in delicious foods, don’t forget to spoil your body as well. How about a massage or a hot bath to help your mind and body relax? If you travelled to another city for the race, treat yourself to a little vacation or sightseeing.

#4 Marathon Recovery Tips: Give your sore muscles a break and time to relax
If you start running while your muscles are still sore, you are only making the pain worse or risking serious injuries like tearing a muscle. So give your muscles a break after the race! However, that doesn’t mean you have to be glued to the couch all day: Light exercise will get the blood flowing. This helps your body to wash out toxic metabolic products and to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles faster.

#5 Marathon Recovery Tips: Active recovery before the next phase of training
Even when your muscles are not sore anymore, both your muscles and tissues might still need several weeks to completely recover. The immune system has to be fully repaired, as well as tendons, ligaments and joints. You might feel like you want to immediately run every marathon out there, but – as a rule of thumb - take one rest day per race kilometer. That means you should refrain from extreme physical activity for 6 weeks after a marathon. Swimming, cycling and short runs can help with active recovery. This way, you’re giving your body the ideal conditions to aid the process of recovery.
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