Post Marathon Recovery (Part 2) Posted on January 14, 2019

By Rameshon

(Masters in Education, University of Western Australia, 2005-2008)

Picture 1 – After Chiangmai Marathon 2018, for 1 week there was no running from me and for Tan Mariviv. Rest with no running and activity plays a dominant role in enabling one to recover and come back to running fast.

Top runners who want to excel in one’s own marathon race, actually, in a real sense, only choose one or two marathons per year. It is actually a formula to do well, and it does not go wrong. In my experience, when I do one or two per year, as a local top runner, in the past, I was able to keep progressing in my personal best time. A real marathon preparation takes about 6 to 9 months, for one to really do well. In order, to, at least, do a quality marathon race, a 3 months training is needed, with some conditioning done earlier on, of the season. 

During a marathon race, itself, one will be recruiting one’s own physical and mental ability to attain a good time. Top runners in the world usually tone down their training, especially in the last week of the marathon race. They cut to half of the mileage that they do, for example, from 120km, they bring it down to 60km, in order to recover the body faster. They actually do their best to prepare not just the body well, but also their psychic consciousness as well, such that they will be able to give one’s own best effort. 

From my experience, top runners, tend not to do workouts, 10 days before the marathon race. This allows the body to recover in order for one to give 100 % effort and nothing less. Usually elite runners do this and they excel in running. However, when the race is over, a number of things has to be taken note of or the runner will not be able to recover and recuperate in running. When one recover and recuperate fast, one will be able to be ready for the next race, like 5km, 10km, half-marathon, or even a marathon race. 

I shall summarise the points below so that recovery can take place fast. It is also important to take note that one will perform well only after some months in their chosen distance, about 2 months onwards, may be, where one can keep doing personal best times for various distance events etc. After a marathon race, for the first few weeks, in races, it is hard to get a personal best from 5km to half-marathon, although it sometimes happen, when does the marathon time doing a big personal best. It actually takes about some months to really recover the body. I shall write here in part 2 on some of the recovery method of a marathon race. 

Directly after Run

(1) After finishing the marathon race, it is wise to walk for few hundred metres or at least a kilometre. It is good to keep moving so that the blood circulates and to allow some recovery to take place. It is not wise to sit down. Once one sit down, it is hard to stand up. Avoid going down the stairs. 

(2) Instead of talking to friends, it is wise to focus on drinking isotonic drink or water to replenish the body. One’s weight will be about 1-2kg down, and it could be possibly because of lack of hydration. One can recover and do well in future races  if one can do this. It is important to eat food like banana, watermelon, raisins etc. 

(3) Cold bath does stimulate blood circulation and the muscles can recover at a much faster rate. Hot bath is comforting, but it delays the speeding up process to recover in running.

(4) One should do stretching to enable the muscles to relax and to clear the waste materials and products from the body. Stretching is one of the best form of recovery methods to make one to get back to running at a much faster rate. As one becomes too tired, one will yearn for someone to massage to bring down the painful sensation, in order to soothe the muscles that needs repair work. Usually, people forget stretching. From experience, stretching improves one’s locomotion. frequent stretching at every four hours will be of help. 

(5) One can do self – massage, or use a tennis ball on the calves, thigh, etc or

(6) raise the legs up 2 pillows for 20 minutes. 

(7) Do 20 min relaxation practice. 

In Part 3, I shall write on how to choose races such that in 2 months, one could do a personal best, if one has been aiming to keep progressing. 

Edited By Tan Mariviv!