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3 ways to recover after running a marathon

The next few days are just as important as the build-up to the race.

Were you part of the field? We've got some expert advice to help you recover.
Were you part of the field? We've got some expert advice to help you recover.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IF YOU WERE one of the 19,500 runners who completed the Dublin Marathon yesterday, then you’re more than likely going to feel the effects today and tomorrow.

There is no magic formula or pill to help recover from it, keep it simple and get the basics right over the next few days and you will be back to your normal self in no time.

Sleep

Sleep is the most valuable method of recovery available to anyone. Sometimes this can be a hard sell because it doesn’t come in a tablet, powder or magical spray.

Tips to improve your sleeping habits for better recovery:

  • Aim for at least eight hours of sleep.
  • Ensure your room is in complete darkness when sleeping.
  • Ensure your room is cool and well ventilated.
  • Stay away from your smart phone/laptop/TV as the blue light emitted from such devices can affect your circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine & alcohol in the hours before bedtime.

Eat

After all, you’ve pretty much just ‘emptied the tank’ and expended every last sinew of energy to cross that line – so it’s vital to refuel properly.

The three main areas we will look are the following:

  • Rebuild
  • Replenish
  • Rehydrate

Protein

You will have damaged muscle tissue and although it will depend on your training and experience, it really can’t be avoided. In the post-running window, it is essential that you provide your body with enough protein to repair damaged muscle tissue and build new tissue.

Over the next few days ensure every meal you have contains some source of protein.

650152106 Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are our body’s main fuel source. This fuel in the form of glycogen has limited storage in our body so can be used up quickly. It is important we replenish our glycogen stores post-running to promote optimal recovery. Neglecting carbohydrates this week will not do you any favours.

Fluids

For each kilogram of weight you lose through fluids, you need 1.5 litres of water to ensure that you rehydrate sufficiently.

Other factors such as salts and electrolytes will also be beneficial so we recommend the use of an electrolyte replacement sachet if needed, particularly if there is a lot of fluid lost.

Anti-inflammatory foods

Include some of the following foods in your meals this week to help redcue inflammation:

  • Fatty fish
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Ginger & turmeric

Foam roll

Foam rolling is a great way to reduce muscle soreness and promote blood flow to muscles. Check out the video below on how best to ease those aching muscles.

Source: Elite Physical Prep/YouTube

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