With the build-up to the marathon focusing a lot on the actual race itself, it’s easy to forget about the aftermath – but we’ve got you covered! Check out these top marathon recovery tips and how to look after those precious pins from some of London’s industry experts!
We just love Turmeric! While rich in anti-oxidants, it is also ant-inflammatory, which is why it’s the perfect supplement for anyone running a marathon. It can help alleviate muscle pain and is even thought to help with shin splints. We suggest taking a Turmeric shot after the race, or indulge in a turmeric latte before bed. Imbibery offer a delicious turmeric shot with ginger and apple cider vinegar!
Have an energy drink waiting at the finish line
When we sweat, we lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are certain nutrients that have several crucial functions, including regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract and move. The most important electrolytes are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chloride. If you suffer from cramping after or during a workout, you’ll often be advised to add more salt to your diet. Cramping is your body telling you that you’re lacking electrolytes, and salt contains the correct nutrients to cure this. After 26.2miles of running, however, you might need something a little more precise. Having an energy drink immediately after you cross the finish line will not only provide you with the correct measure of nutrients to rehydrate your body, but will also quench your thirst. Most store bought energy drinks are full of processed, artificial ingredients so we suggest making your own healthier version! It’s totally uncomplicated! We love this recipe from Don’t Mess With Mama!
After your energy drink and you’re feeling better, think about what food you might need to consumer. Fitness trainer, Conor Barrett, says, ‘there will definitely be some wear and tear on the muscles which will need to be repaired through correct food choices.’ This should include a carb to protein ratio of 4:1 and any lean meats of your choice. For a veggie option, have lentils, beans or quinoa instead.
Worried about DOMS? Don’t sweat it, foam roll it instead! Trainer Conor Barrett at OPUS Fitness says, foam rolling ‘will help lengthen the muscles that would have become considerably tighter over the run but will also help to increase blood flow to the legs, flushing out all the metabolites (e.g. lactic acid) that may have built up.’ Although it may be painful, foam rolling can reduce joint stress and help prepare your muscles for recovery. If you’re feeling like a post marathon pamper, visit COMO Metropolitan London for their marathon runner’s massage package.
Stretch or Do Some Yoga
Your muscles will be most receptive to stretching straight after you complete your run and are still warm. Stretching properly will reduce long-term tightness and pain. We think yoga is a great way to ensure a thorough stretch – it can also get you into the calm mind-set to recover.
CAUTION: when stretching, don’t forget your hip flexors. People often forget about their hip flexors as they don’t flare up as frequently as other muscles, but when they do its super painful. Hip flexors start the movement of your leg whenever you walk or run, so they’re used constantly during a marathon. Stretch them out by placing one foot on the floor in front of you and your other knee on the floor behind, both in right angles just like the classic “will you marry me” proposal pose! Slowly tilt your pelvis under and keeping your back straight, lean forward until you feel your hip flexors stretch. This should not be a deep lunge. Simply tilting your pelvis alone might be enough for you to feel the stretch! Hold the stretch for 30-60secs. Repeat twice on each leg.
Take a bath
No, take two! One hot, one cold. As soon as you’ve stretched and foam rolled, add some ice to a cold bath and bathe for 8 minutes. Try not to be put off by the discomfort – ice baths help repair micro-trauma in muscle fibres by constricting blood vessels and reducing swelling.
Just before getting some well-earned sleep, soak yourself in a warm bath before bed to minimise any morning-after muscle ache. We’d recommend adding Clean Beauty Co. Well Earned Bath Soak, which contain Epsom salts. When submerged in water, these salts break down into sulphate and magnesium, which easily soak into the skin and then to your muscles. These substances will relax your muscles, eliminate toxins, and could help you wind down after an adrenaline-fuelled day.
Lounge in compression tights
Looking for an excuse to live in your gym kit just that little bit longer? Compression tights could actually help speed up your recovery.
It’s not advised to hit the sofa straight after a marathon, instead, slowly walk around to let your muscles cool down slowly. But, when it’s time to settle down in front of the TV, throw on a pair of compression tights to keep your recovery going at maximum speed! Sports scientists suggest wearing them for 72 hours after a marathon – even in the bath! Compression rights help reduce the chances of cramp as well as any delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It’s definitely worth adding a pair of these to your post-run chill-out. Our Falke Compression leggings will do just the trick!
words by Katie Hafner