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How can I improve my recovery after running or after a major event like a marathon?

Throughout the year there are multiple running events, marathons and half marathons in Adelaide; some of us compete as elite athletes, others as weekend warriors.. However, no matter how good we are, we all need appropriate recovery.

What is involved in the recovery process after a race like a marathon?

Recovery is one of the most critical components to a perfect training plan that runners often neglect. Unfortunately, if you don’t properly recover from your marathon, you’ll be at risk of injury.

Muscles soreness and fatigue are the most obvious signs of running a long distance, like a marathon. Due to the initial inflammation and tissue repair occurring in the muscles during the recovery phase, it take’s about two weeks (or sometimes longer) for your muscles to fully recover! To help speed things along you can do the following:

1. stretch muscles to regain range of motion and decrease stiffness

2. wear compression tights from brands like 2XU and Skins to help increase the oxygen levels, needed by fatigued muscles

3. massage specific muscle groups that are sore, tender or stiff to increase the oxygen uptake, breakdown knots in the muscle, and help regain range of motion

The immune system is also severely compromised after a major running event. Therefore a healthy and nutritional eating plan is needed to reduce the risk of colds, viruses and other infections. For example, directly post-race you should aim to replenish:

– WATER levels

– vitamin and antioxidant levels; provided by a mixture of fruits and veggies

-carbohydrate levels; found in all sorts of foods like rice, pasta, bread and grains

– protein levels; MEATS or legumes or dairy products..

Some meal examples which cover all of these components include a salad sandwich or smoothie with fruit, oats, milk or water, plus a protein supplement. DON’T FORGET TO DRINK WATER!

It is important to continue a healthy diet and “normal” eating regime withing 24 hours post race, so no nutritional elements are left-out.

A recovery running program is also important, but it depends on your running level and other personal factors. This is best prescribed from a medical practitioner like an exercise physiologist, physiotherapist or podiatrist.

Your body should “feel” like it’s normal self within a couple of weeks. However, this varies from person to person. If you feel like something isn’t quite right; if you have painful legs, blisters, sore feet, felt like your shoes let you down OR have any questions about any of the recovery process – SEE A PODIATRIST for a professional opinion and management.


Written by
Written by

Adam Wiles

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