Marathon Is Run!……Now It’s Time To Get Life Back In Those Tired Legs And Fast

 

The event is over, the buzz of race day has gone, the medal hangs proudly and the only thing left is the pride and achievement of completing such a feat… Oh, & the sore legs!!

For those of you that have ran a marathon I bet you’ve uttered the famous words – I’m never running a marathon again yet as soon as the soreness settles it never seems so bad and you’re suckered in to it again. Before you know it you’re at the start line of another race. This sounds like me with my next marathon (Liverpool) only 5 weeks today away!

So how is best to recover to get your body fighting fit again?

The technique that helps me the most personally is the active recovery method. Utilising the same muscle groups but at a lower capacity increases the blood flow to the muscles and surrounding tissues which will increase the circulation, if you increase the circulation you can feed the muscles with nutrients they need to repair such as oxygen. In the same circulation it will take away the waste products built up over exercise, your lactic acid type which contribute to fatigue.

So now you know the science behind it, what exercises do I do? I’ll talk you through my week.

On Monday I just did a very light 10 minute cycle 3 times throughout the day to flush the legs again, but avoided foam rolling until Tuesday as the muscles are very tender at this point. A combination of cycling and foam rolling got me through Tuesday with the addition of a light Pilates session. By Wednesday my legs were back to normal so I got in the pool and swam my way through 20 lengths at a light intensity to get whole body movement I followed this up with a foam rolling session.

On Thursday an advanced Pilates was the main focus to ramp my body up to go back into training as on Friday I completed my first run again – only a short 2 mile distance to get the legs turning again. Saturday will be a complete rest day for me, maybe abit of foam rolling but it’s important to let your body have a complete rest at some point. As of today my training re-commences for my next marathon & I shall be doing a 6.2 mile/10km run so if you see me about and about give me a shout 😊

 

Nutrition & Hydration tips post race!

 

A marathon is a massive strain on the body both physically and emotionally. You use up roughly 100 calories per mile, span this out over the course of the full 26.2 that’s in excess of 2,600 calories. It’s important to get the fuel back on board after shelling out all them calories.

To optimise the muscles recovery post race you need to get some carbohydrates down the hatch to replenish the muscles glycogen stores. Throughout the rest of the day protein mixed with carbs is your best bet as it will help the muscles to recover and regenerate! This can help ease that soreness feeling in the coming days if the muscles can recover quicker.

Another big aspect is the hydration side of things. Through our sweat we lose salt and therefore the concentration of sodium levels in the body drop, sodium is important for proper nerve and muscle functioning, for example, if your sodium levels are down you could be susceptible to cramps and headaches!

Post race take some electrolytes to replenish the sodium levels in the body, although these are commonly found in sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade they provide little calorie intake and as mentioned above, this is so important to replenish the body. Alternatives include fruit smoothies as fruit contains high levels of sodium.. especially bananas!

Happy Running!

Aaron 🙂

 

If you are new to running or you a seasoned competitor aiming for a personal best and want some more tips on coping with sporting injuries, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and keeping free from painkillers and sports supports get your free copy of our sports injury guide: http://www.wdcphysiotherapy.co.uk/physiotherapy/free-guide-for-injured-athletes/