How Long Should It Take to Recover From a Marathon

How to Recover From a Marathon Run

How long does it take to recover from a marathon? Running a marathon  is a huge challenge for the body, the body will use every drop of energy it has (and doesn’t have..) to complete a marathon run. The recovery part is just as important in your marathon training as the tapering in the marathon training.

A proper recovery from a marathon run will allow the runner to resume running without any long term side effects and injuries. Do not over look the recovery from a marathon as part of your marathon training program.

By GINA KOLATA reporter for the New York Times has been facing this dilemma how long does it take to recover from a a marathon run:

As it turns out, there’s not much rigorous research on recovery after strenuous exercise. There have been almost no long-term studies, and there’s little agreement on what to measure or how to measure it. This aspect of competition is rife with unsubstantiated dogma.

One popular notion holds that however many miles you race, that’s how many days it takes to recover: A 10-mile race requires a 10-day recovery. Dr. Timothy Noakes, an exercise physiologist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, dismisses that advice.

“The days-for-miles recovery theory was popularized in the 1970s but was not scientifically based,” he said. Read the whole story..

Recovering from a marathon is very individual process. Some runners may feel fit to train again within a few days, while others will need more than a week of recovery to return to regular running activity.

Reverse Tapering as Marathon Recovery

If you have been training in a professional way to the marathon, you know the last part of the marathon training is the tapering phase. The tapering phase is when the runner decreases the amount of mileage they run, so the body will not reach the marathon all drained out of energy.

The reverse tapering for marathon recovery is the same idea but backward. You plan a low running activity for the few days after the marathon, then gradually you increase the mileage. Listen to your body. If you feel you are not ready yet, allow the body a few more days of rest.

Run a easy pace jog for 30-40 minutes. See what’s happening? How are you feeling? If you feel OK increase the pace level and or the length of the run. Allow 3 weeks of easy training schedule until the body is ready for longer more demanding running.

Shorten The Recovery Period After a Marathon

The post marathon nutrition has an important role in shortening the recovery process after a full 26.2 marathon run. There is a window of opportunities which should be used for the fast recovery of the ingredients intake right after your marathon run. The site has a tip about that:

Refuel depleted muscles as soon as possible with a meal that includes carbohydrates, protein and sodium. Fuel is most efficiently absorbed in the first 30 to 60 minutes post-race. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana and sports drink is one example. If you struggle with eating post-race, try a liquid recovery drink. Recovery drinks are formulated with everything you need to refuel your body–carbohydrates, protein, electrolytes and fluid. A good ole can of V-8 or chocolate milk works well too. Read more..

Find more here – on marathon running recovery drinks.

Here are some tips by Spark People which can help you recover faster from a marathon run.

Eat more. Sleep more Indulge yourself. Your body needs it to rejuvenate, replenish and recover faster. Besides, didn’t you promise yourself five weeks ago on your 20-miler that you couldn’t wait to sleep in, eat a chocolate sundae and read the Sunday paper?
Do not try to run off the soreness. Let your body heal. Try some cross-training activities like spinning, swimming, yoga, tai chi to rest your muscles, while still getting a good aerobic workout. If you’re running, run short distances on soft surfaces.
Throw away your plans and schedules. No shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’.
Frame your picture and medal. Wallow in your greatness. Continue here..

Massage Your Muscles After a Marathon

How Long Should It Take to Recover From a Marathon
Use Stick to Recover Muscles From The Marathon

One of the ways to reduce your marathon recovery period is to massage your muscles 3-4 hours after the race is over! At this time frame there is still large quantities of lactic acid in the muscles which a massage can squeeze out. If you can afford it schedule a professional massages 3 hours after the marathon is over.

Find More On ‘Marathon Stick’ Here

Request a deep tissue massage for the legs, hips, back, arms, hamstrings, calves, and thighs. The massage after a marathon can reduce muscle soreness, increase blood circulation to deeper muscles which will to help eliminate lactic acid build up.

If you can not afford a 40 minute massage or you are running a way from home town, you can always bring with you “the Stick” massager.

This is a wonderful self massager which will squeeze away the lactic acid build up in the muscles, and circulate the blood back to your deep muscles.

Find More On ‘The Marathon Stick’ Here

The ‘Stick’ is light weight, small and adjusts to stiff runners muscles. Do not massage your legs too soon after the race, allow 3 hours before using the Stick.

How long does it take to recover from a marathon depends on these tips, share them with other runners.