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Step by step Marathon Recovery

Recovery...

Step By Step Marathon Recovery With Matthew Pierson

Step By Step Marathon Recovery With Matthew Pierson

You did it! You’ve completed the gruelling 26.2 miles – and you are a marathoner. But as you bask in that post race glory, you’ll also be fatigued and sore. Running a marathon puts a huge physical strain on the body, so it’s important to be as disciplined through your recovery as you were during training. Here, our in-house expert Matthew Pierson gives us his step by step guide to marathon recovery.

person having a back rub person having a back rub

Day 1

For me, the worst part of the marathon is the day after. It is a day of refuelling, replacing all your body has lost on the previous day. There are many ways to recover, but I personally wear recovery tights to help keep the blood flowing, enhancing muscle repair.

Recovery tights are recommended to be worn for up to three hours, but I wear them for up to 24 hours, sleeping in them as they enhance circulation, help reduce muscle soreness and swelling. In my opinion, this is a more efficient way of recovering, as opposed to ice baths or massages.

person stretching leg person stretching leg

Recovery tights are recommended to be worn for up to three hours, but I wear them for up to 24 hours, sleeping in them as they enhance circulation, help reduce muscle soreness and swelling. In my opinion, this is a more efficient way of recovering, as opposed to ice baths or massages.

1 Week Later

I believe it takes one day per mile (26 days post-marathon) to fully recover. While everyone is different, it is a good method to follow and has always helped my body to properly recovery after a marathon. When going back to training, I would build-up slowly each day, allowing your body to recuperate.

For example, if the marathon took place on a Sunday, I would return to running on the Tuesday and build up on Thursday – adding five or ten minutes - with Monday, Wednesday and Friday as your rest days. As your muscles have been damaged during the marathon, returning to faster-paced running will only put you at more risk of picking up injuries.

In this recovery week, a massage would be advisable as when you ran the marathon, you will have obtained a lot of scar tissue and a massage will significantly reduce this.

2 Weeks Later

The second week is when your body should be returning back to normality. Your legs may still be recovering, but I think you can increase the intensity of your training and by the end of the week you should be looking to do more intense running - perhaps even complete a race - such as a 10k.

person running person running

1 Month Later

By now you are fully recovered and ready to train normally again. The month after a marathon isn't usually a problem for your body, but, it can be a problem in your head. Once the elation of completing a marathon has left your system, the low of realising you have spent months training for one day begins to kick in. All your focus has gone, you and your body need a new challenge. A month after a marathon is a good time to sit down and plan the next goal. Whether it is a park run or even the next marathon, it is ideal to have a goal to stimulate and motivate you.

So What’s Next?

Your goal is purely personal and at your own discretion. There are no set targets for anyone to adhere to. Personally, I think when you have completed a rigorous marathon programme it sets you up for any distance. You could set yourself up for an ultra marathon as you have a good base to build on as you have the miles in your legs already, and you wouldn't have to divert too much from your original marathon training regime. Alternatively, you could drop down in distance as you have the strength to improve your speed over shorter distances. Post-marathon is a really good place to be in, you just need to keep up the training!



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