Less than one week until the ING New York City Marathon! While you’ve probably been spending a lot of time thinking about preparing for the biggest race of the season, have you thought about how you’ll recover after pounding out 26.2 miles? No? Well, we’re here to help!
1. Keep moving — gently. Muscles soreness and ache can be alleviated by keeping your muscles warm, with some light walking after the race. Walking will also help flush the lactic acid that accumulates in your muscles during intense exercise.
2. Refuel. Although you might not be ready to down a huge meal right after the marathon, you should consume 200 to 300 calories of carbohydrates and protein. You’ve completed depleted your glycogen stores in your muscles, which means you’re pretty much running on empty. Just like you carbo-loaded prior to the race, you’ll want to do something similar within a few hours after the race. Also make sure to fully rehydrate and replenish your electrolytes with Nuun (available at our store).
3. Ice and Ibuprofen. Both of these, along with compression socks (we sell Men’s and Women’s CEP compression socks), will help the inflammation that happens after a long endurance run.
4. Foam roll and stretch after a few hours of rest. Too much stretching right after a race can actually hurt your already sensitive muscles, so wait a few hours before you stretch or use your foam roller. Don’t have a foam roller? Pick up an awesome Pro-Tec foam roller from our store. We have variety of sizes and styles to meet your needs!
5. Wait at least 24 hours for a massage. A massage can be a great way to relax the muscles, but too much pressure on muscles that have been damaged from an extended run will only hurt. Delayed onset of post exercise muscle soreness is very common after a marathon. Wait at least a day, if not longer, before you get a professional massage.
Give yourself at least a week off before you start running — gently! — again. Many training programs will have recommendations for when and how you should start running again, so make sure to consult with your plan or your coach on how you should approach exercise. Cross training is a great way to ease back into exercise, but it should be done after a few days of complete rest.
But our most important tip is celebrate! You just ran more than 26 miles! That’s the equivalent of running from the Rye Running Company all the way to Central Park. Whew! Call up your favorite restaurant now to make reservations to celebrate. You’ve earned it!