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Post-marathon pick-me-up Advice

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Posted by Andrew M under Marathon Running on 15 April 2012 at 7:49 AM

As you cross the finish line this weekend you may find yourself experiencing the peculiar feeling of the last 6 months of your life all coming to a close. Every training run in the rain, every blister and every missed social event all culminate around this one moment of crossing the line after 26.2 miles. 

So what's next? It's easy to fall into the post-marathon slump when you complete the goal that you've been consistently training for. Over your training you will have formed some excellent habits (running before/after work, taking more notice of what you're eating, etc) so try and maintain these as staples in your lifestyle - even if your immediate thoughts are "I'm never running again"!

Immediately after the race you should follow these guidelines to make completing the race as comfortable as possible and save yourself from injury:

  1. Catch up on your hydration and replemish your energy deficite with whatever gels, energy drinks or fruit that you prefer - Lesley B recommends coconut water to get the extra calories back in your system and for delicious ways to get your calorie inspiration go to the Smoothie Recipes Tribe.
  2. Keep moving! Although ever muscle in you body may want to crumple on the floor and stay there all night (with the hope that someone will bring you a blankey) keep walking around to keep your muscles moving.
  3. Stretching out after your run is going to take maybe 15 minutes but you'll feel the benefit, I promise! Check out the Stretching Recovery Tribe for help on this.
  4. Treat your injuries and make use of the race day facilities - most races will have masseurs so make the most of them if you feel a twinge or a niggle which could develop into something worse.
  5. Go for a run in the evening or morning after - even if you just swore never to do so again a 20-25 minute run will aid your recover immeasurably. If running is out of the question then go for low impact activity like cycling or swimming.

When do you feel hungriest after a long run? Sometimes you might not get your appetite back straight away so let us know when the major hunger hits!

Whatever your time today congratulations on your marathon! Now what's your next Challenge going to be?

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    Comments

    20120409155750-lesleyb1

    For athletes, optimal performance is based highly on your pre and post workout fuelling regime. Coconut water has definitely been marketed as natures sports drink. It is a great way to rehydrate post-exercise due to its high potassium, mineral content, low amounts of carbs, calories and sodium, and zero fat! Pre run you want to top up all of your glycogen levels. Carbs provide glycogen to your muscles which will help you perform optimally. When completing strenuous exercise, your glycogen stores are slowly depleting - Energy Gels will help you maintain this important muscle fuel by topping up your levels efficiently and these guys are PACKED with electrolytes that help provide energy and reduce cramping. Post run you want to replenish what your body has just exerted. For a good base point, many endurance athletes compose their diet of carb enriched foods (pastas, breads, potatoes, fruits & veggies). Potassium enriched foods will help restore electrolytes (bananas, oranges, coconut water!!!). Post run you also dont want to forget PROTEIN! This is important. The work you have done is pointless unless you help your muscles rebuild themselves. Weather it be a protein shake, or protein enriched foods (chicken is a good one), your body isn't going to repair as efficiently. 30 minutes post exercise is the MAX you should wait to consume protein. Personally, this is the FIRST thing I do before anything happens. I hardly have my shoes off before I am downing a protein shake!

    Andrew M encouraged this.

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