Running Past the Medal: Post-Marathon Recovery

If you were able to make it through those long and dreadful 26.2 miles, then recovery will be a much simpler task. However, the process of recovering after a marathon cannot be overlooked; marathons place tremendous stress on the body which can cause damage, despite the amount of preparation previously done. Marathons commonly harm the muscular and immune system of a runner, which is why runners often find themselves sore, in pain, and more susceptible to colds after running a marathon. If disregarded, these minor injuries can escalate and cause much greater problems. However, the damage is reversible with just a little effort on your end and help from MaxWell Medical!

Below are some tips to help you recover in the fastest and safest way, so the marathon can be more of an achievement rather than a regret:

  1. Hydrate and Eat- Recieving a medal for crossing the finish line might call for a celebration, but only after your body is rewarded too. Immediately after running, remember to drink plenty of water or fluids-to restore important electrolytes- and eat a light snack. Your post-marathon appetite might not allow you to eat a large meal, however, its best to eat a fruit or snack rich in carbohydrates and proteins that can easily be digested and supply your body with the macros it needs. This will effectively work to replenish glucose levels and begin the repair process of any damaged muscle cells. 
  1. Schedule a Manual Therapy Session- After 24 to 48 hours past the marathon day, it’s time to get manual therapy to ease your body of any pain or discomfort following the marathon. Constant running boosts your metabolism, converting more and more oxygen and glucose to lactic acid and other wastes. With manual therapy, applying gentle pressure to muscles, joints, and tissues will help release these wastes, which further relaxes the tension in the muscles, improves circulation, and eases any muscle pain.
  1. Perform Therapeutic Exercises- Full recovery can only be done gradually through therapeutic exercises. Take a pause on your normal workout routine, and spend a few days following the marathon relaxing. After 4 to 5 days, add stretches to your daily routine. Since running utilizes the legs and calves the most, perform thigh or hamstring stretches to ease the stress of your leg muscles. Stretches should be followed by cross training or low intensity exercises. Cross training is described as low-impact and low-intensity activities such as cycling, swimming, or using the elliptical. Performing such activities will not only improve muscle strength and fitness, but it will also improve your running endurance and allow you to recover fully. 

Crossing the finish line only signifies the start of the path to recovery. The real finish line lies ahead, and can only be reached after returning to your better health. Follow these tips to successfully recover from the damages of a marathon, and to ultimately reach the end of the real finish line.

MaxWell Medical wants you to RUN FARTHER!

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