A guide to recovering after running a marathon


After running a marathon, whether you have finished within your desired time or not, your body deserves to have some time for recovery. After all, the main reason for you to do marathon should be to train your body, not just for the win. Therefore, if you do not take care of your body after that, the real purpose will be defeated.

However, there is a science concerning the recovery after marathon (http://running.competitor.com/2013/09/training/the-importance-of-recovery-after-a-marathon_59478).You should not relax your body by lying in bed all day doing nothing. Here are our suggestions regarding your recovery, which will help you have a successful recovery and get ready for a new challenge.

1. The first hour after the race:

The first hour after the race

The first hour after the race

As soon as you cross the finish line, you have to immediately think of your recovery since your body will switch to the recovery mode soon. It is likely that there are friends and family members who come to congratulate you, cheer you on and even ask you out for some celebrations. However, you have to take care of a few things first.

  • Find dry clothes:

From the minute you stop straining your body, it will realize that the time has come for it to switch to recovery mode. You will soon feel cold and sweaty. For marathon, you have to dress for warmer weather since your body heats up when you run. Therefore, you should change out of those clothes quickly and put on something dry and warm.

Include your footwear too. If you do not change into a comfortable pair of shoes, your feet can swell up.These things should be prepared before the run.

  • Find something to eat:

You need some quick food (http://www.shape.com/fitness/training-plans/best-foods-eat-after-running-marathon) for calories. Something in liquid form and contains protein is recommended since runners often cannot eat soon. Do not choose processed fruit juices or something similar. Do this within the first 30 minutes after finishing the run.

  • Do feet up:

After some time to catch your breath after the run, you should lay down and get your feet up. Do this for about 15 minutes and some times else in the same day.

2. 12 hours after the run:

12 hours after the run

12 hours after the run

  • Clean yourself up:

You should do this as soon as get back to your house or hotel. Have a cool, cold or even an ice bath. This will refresh you and make you notice if something is wrong.

  • Have a proper meal:

You must feel pretty hungry by now so you should find a place where you can have a proper meal. Eat lots of fruits, carbohydrates and protein. Vitamin C provided in the fruits helps fight radical damages and enhances your immunity, while carbs and protein helps your muscle.

Do not forget to drink a lot of water.

  • Sleep:

You should get enough sleep though your muscle sore can get in the way. Do not go out of your way to celebrate too much and add alcohol to the list of things your body has to deal with.

3. 72 hours:

72 hours

72 hours

  • Some light exercise:

You should not stay inactive in bed or on the couch. You should walk some short distances, swim a bit or do some little cycling. Do not be engaged in serious training yet, rest but do not rest totally. This way, your muscle can get some warm-ups and push out all the toxins.

  • Pay attention to your meal:

You should eat healthy, quality foods only, preferably fruits, carbohydrates and protein. You need moderation in eating. Drink a lot of water.

  • Light massage:

This massage (http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/the-pros-and-cons-of-massages-for-runners) helps loosen your muscle. You can work lightly on your calves, hamstings and such. It helps promote recovery. Pay attention to certain areas that suffer some kind of problems.

4. After that:

The most important phase of your recovery is over. But the recovery phase is not over yet. You still have to pay attention to your eating, drinking, sleeping and working out. You can start running bit by bit and do some cross-training after 5 days.


How you rest after the marathon is just as important as how you train (How to train to run your first marathon) before that. This will define the fruit of all your training and the real result of your participation in the marathon.You have worked hard and trained seriously, you have to take recovery seriously too. Follow our guide and get yourself more than ready for more challenge to come.

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