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Balance 360's Tips for Marathon Recovery

Welcome to April - the start to an exciting upcoming marathon season!

If you’re going to be running a marathon any time this year, we commend you! Running a marathon is a huge achievement in itself, but as it is such a challenge to undertake, it can have a particular draining effect on the body and mind. It is a worthy achievement, but one that requires ample time to recover afterwards.

Today we are going to be sharing some general tips for recovery, and what you can do to help get your body back into fully functional fitness - both physically and mentally. The recovery process is an important one, as you don’t want to push yourself too hard too soon, and cause significant damage in the following weeks.

We've also reached out to our resident athlete, Rhys, for his own personal advice when it comes to taking on this monumental challenge. These tips will discuss what you can do in the short term and the long term, so don’t forget to save this blog for useful advice on completing your marathon!

As you cross the finish line:

Keep moving! As tempting as it is to sit down and celebrate your achievement, you need to keep moving for at least 10-15 minutes to help facilitate your body’s healing and prolong the upcoming soreness.

You should also aim to refuel as soon as possible, with a snack or drink that is rich in carbohydrates. This is to help fuel your body and muscles, and start repairing muscle damage from the marathon.

The most important thing Rhys suggests:

"Make sure you refuel! Drink plenty of water and make sure you replenish all the calories lost with plenty of good quality food. This means staying away from the alcohol unfortunately…"

The rest of the day:

Celebrate sensibly… Although a celebratory alcoholic drink is deserved, try to stay away! Alcohol is dehydrating, and will delay your recovery process.

A nap is recommended, at an optimal time of 90 minutes. Sleep is key after a marathon, so ensure you are getting a quality night’s sleep at the end of the day as well.

2-3 days later:

Engage in gentle, active recovery. This includes light exercise such as walking or swimming to get the body moving again, warm up the muscles and reduce any stiffness you’ll be experiencing.

Rhys says...

"Take a break from running! Your body’s been through a lot in a short amount of time so keep the running shoes in the cupboard for 5-6 days before attempting a slow run (this doesn’t mean sit on the sofa for 5 days!). Instead, I’d recommend swimming as it has been shown to have great results in decreasing Delayed Onset muscle Soreness (DOMS) and increasing range of motion in stiff joints"

1 week later:

Now you can try a test run. There is no definitive answer to when you can start running again, but you have to listen to your body and understand when you’re pushing it too far.

At this stage you can also look towards booking a sports massage. This is a useful treatment as it will start influencing blood flow and increase circulation, aiding healing and recovery overall.

Rhys recommends:

"Wait a couple days for that massage! You want to make sure you aren’t creating more damage to the muscles in your legs when getting a massage. Waiting a couple of days gives the muscles time to mend and encourages the best recovery for your muscles"

There is no exact formula for recovery, but listening to the wealth of advice available is a great place to start. To book in for your sports massage, visit our website today!

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