With over 300,000 participants, volunteers and spectators the Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day is the largest single-day sporting event in Houston.
For the marathoners when the cheers die-down and their breath catches back up to them, the feelings of elation can begin to give way to something else: soreness, tiredness and fatigue. And for many, the day after a marathon can seem like you’re learning to walk for the first time with short steps, no coordination, and a pitiful range of motion. While the hard work is over, post-race recovery is just as important as the pre-race training.
Post-marathon recovery is kind of like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re going to get. There are a lot of variables that can affect your recovery, such as the intensity of the race, the elements, your health, and the training season.
Everyone is different, but there are several post-marathon recovery strategies you can employ that will help speed up the rate of recovery so you’re not stuck limping around and avoiding stairs all week.
Rehydrate and Refuel.
Immediately following the race you should recover with plenty of liquids. According to Kate Patton, a registered dietitian who works in the Department of Nutrition Therapy, Preventive Cardiology and Sports Health at Cleveland Clinic, the perfect post-race drink is one sports drink followed by water. A sports drink, such as Gatorade, is formulated to hydrate you by replenishing the sodium and potassium you lose through sweat, while at the same time giving your body carbohydrates for energy.
Within the first 30-60 minutes after you finish you’ll want to consume quick-digesting forms of carbohydrates to allow your body to replenish its stored carbohydrates in your muscles and grab protein to help repair all your worn and torn muscles. An energy bar with protein is a good choice, or grab a sandwich or slice of pizza, whatever you are craving that has plenty of carbs plus some protein.
Stretch it out.
Wait at least two to six hours after the race to stretch and foam roll and at least 24 hours for a massage or assisted stretch. This gives your muscles plenty of time to replenish fluids and energy lost, plus recover from the demands of the race.
Many runners will feel soreness in the backs of their legs, thigh muscles and glutes. Our Recover sessions alleviate soreness and vastly reduce post-run fatigue and improve flexibility. With a personalized approach, our Certified Stretch Therapists will make sure you’re receiving a healthy, beneficial stretch so you will feel loose and strong the next time you lace up your shoes.
Call to schedule your appointment at one of our locations or book an appointment online here.