Competition Tips

How to recover after a marathon / half marathon

After months of preparation, you’ve made it to day X and have reached the finish line of your target race. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to organize your recovery after a marathon/half marathon to prepare yourself for your next running goal.

How to recover in the hours after your run

Have you successfully completed your marathon or half marathon? Congratulations! Now is the time to celebrate your triumph. At the same time, however, it’s crucial to take care of your recovery, especially in the first few hours after your run. As active recovery is often not at the top of the priority list during this phase, we have put together some recommendations for you to follow.

  • Get into dry clothes quickly: To ensure that your body doesn’t cool down too quickly, change into dry clothes as soon as possible after the marathon.
  • Restore your fluid and energy levels: Immediately after crossing the finish line, it is important to keep your body hydrated and energized. However, avoid alcohol for at least the first few hours.
  • Alternate hot/cold showers: Alternating hot and cold showers can stimulate blood circulation and aid recovery.
  • Consider massage: A relaxing massage, perhaps even with lymphatic drainage, can aid recovery.
  • Stretching: A little stretching a few hours after finishing is a good idea to loosen muscles and maintain flexibility.
  • Postpone wellness and sauna: Immediately after the competition, it is advisable to avoid intensive wellness treatments and the sauna. Give your body some time to recover before you consider these activities.

Here’s what you should look out for in the week after the marathon/half marathon

After you have survived the first few hours, it is important to continue your recovery in the coming days.

  • The days after the marathon/half marathon: You should avoid any training sessions in the first few days after the race. Instead, concentrate on regenerative measures to support your body.
  • Professional massage: A longer massage from an experienced masseur or physiotherapist can be extremely beneficial, especially after a marathon, and help to relieve muscle tension.
  • Sauna for blood circulation: A visit to the sauna can promote blood circulation and aid recovery after exercise.
  • Relaxation in the spa: A day in the spa with bubble and salt water treatments can offer you a pleasant recovery.
  • Sore muscles are normal: Muscle soreness can be particularly pronounced on the second day after a run. This is completely normal, so don’t worry.
  • Mental recovery: Think about mental recovery too. Use this time to do what you really want to do without thinking about the next training session. Perhaps a cozy dinner with friends to celebrate your success?

Enjoy the regeneration phase after your successful run and give your body and mind a well-deserved break

How to organize your return to training

After a week of recovery, your feet will certainly be itching to get going again. Here are some tips on how best to do this:

  • Keep your blood circulation going: It doesn’t hurt to keep your blood circulation moving, but keep it at a moderate level. If you feel fit again after a few days of recovery, you can consider more active recovery measures. These include leisurely activities such as exercise in the water, relaxed spinning, walks, hikes (preferably uphill) and suchlike.
  • Make spontaneous decisions: Don’t plan these activities in advance, but decide spontaneously if you feel like it and have the energy for it. In this phase, it is extremely important to listen to your body. It’s harder to adapt planned measures or training sessions than spontaneous decisions based on how you feel at the time.
  • Try something new: How about trying something new? Yoga, for example. Yoga promotes flexibility and stability, helps to correct imbalances and can prevent injuries.
  • No planned training sessions: running.COACH will not plan any training sessions for you for a certain period of time, and for good reason. It is not forbidden to exercise, but you should definitely listen to your body. If you are tired or feel slight pain, it is better to take a break than to take unnecessary risks.

Create a customized and dynamic running training plan with running.COACH that optimally prepares you for your running goals based on your current fitness level. Try running.COACH free for two weeks after your first login!


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