There is a ton of advice on post-marathon recovery. I know this because I’ve posted some of them on my Pinterest page. Have I actually followed any of them? Yes and no. I’ve got the rest part down pretty well.
My post-marathon recovery doesn’t exactly follow any prescribed plan, I just go with what feels right then look forward to when things will feel even better.
My suggestions are as follows:
1. Rest – You ran a marathon. Just chill a bit.
2. Stretch and Foam Roll – OK, my post-race stretching mostly involved me bending over to look for the compression sleeves I forgot to put in checked bag. But I did sort of feel something in my back and hamstrings.
If you foam roll plan on one of the following. 1) Bring a pillow and blanket because you may not be able to get up off the floor. 2) Actually have someone near by so they can assist you in getting off the floor. 3) Plan on a couple of hours to actually get off the floor if no one is around. At least no one will hear you cry.
3. Alcohol Consumption Can Now Resume As Normal – Most marathoners I know cut back to no alcohol the week of the marathon. It’s over you can consume as much wine and margarita’s as you want (just don’t drive!) I have five days to make up for!
4. You Can Wear Compression Socks to Work! – I recommend argyle ones.
5. You Can Eat a Lot of Food – Well, within reason. The day after the marathon I had two breakfasts and two lunches. Best day ever! The next day it was down to one breakfast and one lunch, but I had two Crumbnuts for Crumbs. Today was back to normal food consumption.
6. Napping is Good – The day after the marathon I took two naps during the day. I also took the day off. On Tuesday, I reserved the quiet room at work and took a brief 15 minute nap. Best day ever!
7. You Can Sleep In! – I run in the morning before work and this rest thing is nice (See rule number 1). So that means I have been getting up a little before 6:00 am instead of 4:30 am.
8. You Can Run Again After You Rest! – After four days of sleeping in and the achy legs feeling better I can finally go our for a slow and easy run! So, so excited about this.
In all seriousness, be smart about your recovery. You don’t have to follow all that crap I posted on Pinterest or here, although I do recommend the drinking part, but only if you are a happy drunk. But really, your body will appreciate the rest and relaxation.
Recover on, my friends.