Marathons are tough on the body. Whether it is a marathon, triathlon or a duathlon, almost every physiological system, including cells, hormones and muscles, is pushed to the maximum during a running event. This it is why it is extremely important to focus on marathon recovery. The best ways to recover after a race include a mix of techniques and methods to calm the nerves and muscles. Most runners often neglect this crucial component of a running training plan.
Unfortunately, in case you don’t fully undergo marathon recovery, you are only going to increase your risk of injury and restrict your potential. This will deteriorate your fitness and will have a negative impact on your future performance. Amateur and sometimes professional runners who fail to stick to a good recovery plan following a racing event suffer from overtraining symptoms. Here are some of the ways to recover from a marathon, duathlon, or triathlon:
One of the most important aspects of marathon recovery is providing the body with essential nutrients, such as water, carbs, fat and proteins. If you are unable to handle any solid food right after a big race, make sure you grab a protein shake or have some chocolate milk. This way, you will have a healthy mix of calories, sugar and electrolytes. Other good choices to gulp down are liquid fruit juices and carbohydrate drinks. Think of these liquids as your fuel.
Athletes who have cast-iron stomachs can munch on a bagel, some cold macaroni or bananas. You should consume food rich in carbohydrates within the first hour after a racing event. You can have vegetables and fruits later in the day. Include protein and carbs in your diet so you can repair any muscle damage that is sure to take place in a long race. A heavy boost of antioxidants and Vitamin C will combat free radical damage as well as strengthen your immune system.
After a big marathon event, you deserve a rest period for at least two to three days. If you hop on to the treadmill too soon, you are only going to cause more damage. A bad workout makes you vulnerable to injuries and risks of other serious consequences. If you must get moving, just go for a stroll or do some stretching.
Muscles fatigue and soreness are the most common cases of damage after a long race. At the end of an event, massage your legs or soak in a hot bath about an hour before going to bed. Pour in 3 cups of Epsom salt and 1 cup baking soda in water. Rest in the bath for at least 15 minutes and get out of the bath to do some simple stretches. This helps you relax your muscles and will guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Work on Your Circulation
It is a great idea to get a massage after a marathon. Some running events offer free massages for the participants, so you can benefit from them. You can also take an ice bath if you don’t want to get soaked in a hot bath. Just stick to the stretching routine after the cold bath to relieve soreness or pain from all that repetitive pounding you have done at the triathlon or duathlon.
These activities will help to improve the body’s circulation, which is important because it will allow a smooth flow of nutrients to the tired parts of your body. A light massage helps your body to loosen up. Avoid a deep tissue massage at this point, as you just need a gentle touch or some light rolling to ensure marathon recovery.
Be Kind to Yourself
You may have outclassed your rivals or failed miserably. The whole point of participating in a marathon event is to work on your fitness while keeping the competitive spirit alive. Remember that you have put your body through considerable stress to make it to the finish line. You are likely to experience a huge dip in endorphins from the beginning of the event to the time you are reflecting on the results of the event.
Celebrate whatever you accomplished during the event. Cherish the fact that all your training makes you fit and healthier and allows you to be part of a running event. As marathon recovery begins right after you cross the finish line, relax your nerves and muscles as you cannot manage your emotions with a tired body.
Get Moving Again
Most athletes find staying indoors too hard. After benefitting from the above-mentioned tips, you can keep the blood flowing by walking and moving around. Knowing how to recover is equally important as training for a running even. Now that you are done with your big event, take out some time for yourself before you resume your training regime.