The marathon is already behind, now the body needs rest and proper recovery to return to its normal condition as quickly as possible with no harm to health. From this article you will learn how to recover after running a marathon.
5 Tips of Marathon Recovery
1. Tendons and ligaments
Multiple and long-term shock loading aggravated with muscle fatigue leads to numerous inflammatory processes in tendons and ligaments. Therefore, during the first three days, it is necessary to make cold compresses to the overloaded places (knees, ankle, and heel tendon) and treat it with a cold shower. As you know, cold is the first aid at the beginning of inflammatory processes. It is also necessary to increase the intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from Omega-3. It regulates the prostaglandins synthesis to provide an adequate response of the body to inflammation.
It makes sense visiting sauna only on the third day after the marathon. If you do that earlier, the procedure may provoke further inflammation development. Visiting a sauna in a couple of days will be beneficial to your health and will speed up the recovery.
During the first three days, a so-called “open window” for viral infections appears. In other words, the risk of viral diseases is very high in this period. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the dose of vitamins C and E to enhance antioxidant protection and supplement with up to 5 g of L-glutamine amino acid.
After visiting public places, you must follow the hygiene rules and rinse your throat and nose with a salt solution. As you know, when virus gets on nasopharyngeal mucosa it needs time to penetrate the body, about 6 hours, so it can be timely removed.
First aid for muscles is a complete rest for two days. Increase protein intake (recovery material) - eat high-quality proteins (from eggs, meat) and add a protein shake before bedtime. For a better recovery of muscle metabolism, a gentle massage is recommended. This procedure will help restore lymph outflow and normal blood flow at level of the capillaries.
Additional magnesium intake is also very important, because a lot of it was released with sweat. Magnesium is responsible for relaxing the muscles.
4. Nervous system
Finishing the marathon, of course, we feel a lot of emotions. However, the next day we need to go to work, keep being a dad or a mom. Therefore, to restore the nervous system, it is necessary to receive enough B group vitamins with food. It is also important to sleep at least 8 hours for the first three nights after the marathon. As you know, at night our body is restored, so a lack of sleep can prevent us from doing this.
This hormone affects the development of bone and muscle tissue. Therefore, we need it after the marathon. Testosterone level in men can significantly affect their mood. Researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo monitored the testosterone level of 20 healthy men aged 25 to 42 years before and after the marathon and found that their testosterone level dropped by half after they ran 42 kilometers.
You can return testosterone back to its normal level with the help of sleep and proper nutrition (quality slow carbohydrates, useful proteins). Avoid unhealthy (saturated) fats, net carbs and lots of alcohol (celebrating your results). In 2-3 days after the marathon it is recommended to do a light strength training.
Smart recovery is the guarantee of your longevity in sports, absence of injuries and constant self-improvement of the body. In case of proper recovery after the marathon and correct training micro cycle, you can show impressive results at the half marathon three weeks after the marathon!