Northside Hospital - What You Need to Know about Marathon Recovery

What You Need to Know about Marathon Recovery

Q: I completed a marathon last weekend. How long should I wait until I run again?

A: After taking part in a high endurance activity such as a marathon, you must allow adequate time for your body and the multiple muscles involved (in particular quadriceps and hamstrings) to rest. This is to prevent any overuse related injuries. The amount of time needed for adequate rest varies depending on multiple factors, including your health conditions, athleticism and your willingness. There is no exact set time period of rest, but try not to run back-to-back marathons on consecutive days. Began by resting for three-to-seven days, enjoy your accomplishment and give yourself the recovery break that is essential to your optimal performance.

Q: Are there other exercises I can do until I return to running?

A: Return to running with brisk walking, shorter runs to help build back endurance can also be beneficial. Stretching and weight-training exercises of multiple muscle groups, including hamstrings and quadriceps are also essential.

Q: It’s been over (whatever time frame you suggested in the first question) and I have lingering pain. What should I do?

A: Pain and discomfort may linger after high endurance exercises. Call it a day if the pain is persisting and take two-to-five additional days off. The pain may be due to inadequate rest, a poor training technique or even the presence of a chronic condition such as arthritis or other health concern. If your injury is inflamed or you’ve experienced loss of function and you’ve tried to ice, heat, acetaminophen and anti-inflammatories and the pain has continued, please see your primary care physician.

Q: What else can I do to help my body recover from the marathon?

A: Take it easy and maintaining a well-balanced diet. Keeping yourself well hydrated before, during and after strenuous exercise and adequate pre-and-post stretching can be helpful. Also, stress relieving activities such as meditation and yoga has been shown to be beneficial to many marathon runners.

Q: Are there certain foods that would benefit me right now?

A: I know it’s difficult not to want to reward yourself with indulgent foods, especially after your pre-race diet discipline. But I can’t emphasize enough that eating a well-balanced diet is the key to your recovery. This includes adequate amounts of greens, fruits, proteins and high fibers. Adequate hydration is also


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