7 Tips For Marathon Recovery

The searches that lead people to my blog usually entertain me.   Sometimes they actually make me think of blog post ideas.  Today someone searched “Marathon running and barley beer drinking recovery” and found MY blog.  Well all right.  That gives me fuel for my topic du jour.

7 Tips on Recovering From A Marathon*

  1. Drink Adult Beverages.  Drink beer.  Or red wine.  Or any adult beverage of your choice.  Repeat.  Multiple times daily.  For several weeks.  Does this really speed recovery? Honestly, I don’t know.  But during 16+ weeks of marathon training, you are working your body hard and oftentimes depriving it of adult beverages (i.e. going to bed early on Friday night and skipping Happy Hour, so you can wake up at 5:00 a.m. to run for 3+ hours in a row).  So while imbibing in excessive adult beverages might not speed up your recovery (and may actually hinder recovery), it gives you something else that is much needed for recovery:  Fun!
  2. Eat Crappy Food.  Consume excessive amounts of sweets, fried food, hamburgers (preferably with bacon and peanut butter – yum!) and, of course, handfuls of Dove chocolate.  Does this fuel your body and repair muscles?  Probably not, but it tastes SO good!
  3. Sleep.  If you did a 16 week training cycle you just did 112 days of early morning wake up calls (if you are an early morning runner, like me) to get your runs in before work/life.  Your body needs some extra zzzz’s to repair/recover.  Plus, if you are following marathon recovery tip #1, you likely have a headache and so could use the extra shuteye. 🙂
  4. Don’t Run for 1 Week.  This is just my personal rule of thumb.  After my first few marathons, where I jumped back into running too early, I realized that I need one full week off of running.  It gives me the mental and physical break that my body needs.  And it leaves me itching to get back out there and lace up my shoes (particularly because I need to burn off calories from marathon recovery tips #1 and #2!)
  5. Get a massage.  From a professional who knows what they are doing, not from your spouse.  I’m usually too sore to do this within the first 4 days post marathon, but it’s a good way to distract me from wanting to run on day 5 or 6 post marathon.
  6. Sign up for another marathon.  Seriously.  I have found that for all 10 of the marathons I’ve run, the best way to recover from the post-marathon blues is to start plotting my next marathon and training cycle.  In fact, I’m usually plotting the next marathon within hours of crossing the finish line!
  7. Shop.  For purses.  For jackets.  For jeans.  For cute tops.  For anything pink.  I know – you are thinking “How could this possibly help marathon recovery?”  Take it from me, a seasoned veteran of both marathoning and shopping, it helps. 🙂

*Legal Disclaimer, since I AM a lawyer: The tips here are not scientifically based, nor are they medical (or legal) advice.  Consult with your own doctor or lawyer before relying on any of these tips.

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