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How To Recover From Running A Marathon

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The recovery process to help a runner recover from completing a marathon should begin almost immediately after the runner completes the race. This can be a difficult concept to grasp especially for first time marathon finishers who may be too exhilarated by their accomplishment to focus on anything other than their satisfaction with accomplishing their goals. Previous marathon finishers have likely made the mistake of not beginning the recovery process soon enough and learned the hard way how damaging this mistake can be. The recovery from a marathon is not a simple process to begin with and the difficulty can be compounded by allowing the body to relax too quickly after completion of the marathon. This article will offer useful tips for facilitating a successful recovery after completing a marathon.

The best piece of advice we can offer for marathon recovery is for the runner to plan well in advance for the recovery process. This will help to prevent the runner from not realizing the need for a proper recovery effort and compounding the difficult recovery process by not making an effort to ease the recovery process. Runners who are planning to participate in their first marathon should research the subject of recovery extensively before the race and should develop a strategy for immediately after the race and for in the first few days and weeks after the race. Doing this research ahead of time will be very beneficial because it will prevent the runner from being overwhelmed at the conclusion of the race and not being sure about the efforts he should be making to aid the recovery process.

Runners will eventually recover from the effort of the marathon on their own, but without active participation from the runner, the recovery time is likely to be significantly longer than it has to be. One of the actions a runner can take immediately after the marathon is to begin the process of replacing lost fluids. Marathon runners should assume they need to start drinking sports replacement drinks immediately after the race. However, if the race directors offer the opportunity for marathon runners to weigh themselves before and after the race, participants should definitely take advantage of this opportunity. However, this is only useful if the runner weighs himself before and after the race. The weight he obtains before the race will serve as the baseline. After the race, the runner should weigh himself again. For every pound of weight the runner lost during the course of the race, he should consume 16 ounces of sports replacement drink. This is very important because it will not only help to prevent dehydration but will also be very beneficial for aiding the recovery of the muscles. The muscles work hard during the course of a marathon and if they are deprived of fluid after the race, they may react with severe cramping which can be quite painful.

If there are massage therapists onsite, the runner should consider having a massage shortly after the race. This can be very beneficial in the recovery process because the muscles of the body tighten and shorten during the exertion required to complete a marathon. As a result, it may take a significant amount of time before the muscles return to their normal range. However, getting a massage shortly after the race can allow the muscles to recover much more quickly. A massage will help the muscles to become less tense and will also stimulate blood flow to the muscles which will aid in their recovery.

As previously mentioned, fluid replacement is critical after a marathon to aid in the recovery process. However, it is equally important for the runner to immediately begin the process of calorie replacement as well. This is important because the body has likely consumed a large number of calories during the course of the run. Additionally, the recovery process will require even more calories. Runners should consume simple carbohydrates immediately after the race. Runners should also take the opportunity after a marathon to indulge in a post race meal which is rich in both protein and fat as well as carbohydrates. Most runners usually avoid high fat sources of protein but during the recovery process, these foods can be very beneficial. Eating sufficiently after a marathon will help to ensure the body is acquiring the calories it needs to recovery properly.

Finally, runners who are in the process of recovering from a marathon should formulate a training plan for the first couple of weeks after the marathon which will help to facilitate their recovery. This should include mileage which is lower than usual but sufficient enough to keep the runner moving. Runners may be tempted to take time off completely from running after a marathon but this can actually be more harmful than doing short runs. Each time the runner goes for a run, he warms up his muscles and stimulates blood flow to all of the muscles of the body which may have becomes strained during the marathon.



The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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