How to Return to Real Life After a Marathon












Congratulations on running 26.2 miles this weekend!

That’s a big accomplishment whether it is your first,

or your tenth.


After months of training, speed work, and dialing in

nutrition you reached your goal.  So many early bed

times on Friday night for long morning runs.  All the

mileage you logged before the rest of the world even

woke up.


You beam with pride (and exhaustion) as you cross the

finish line.  But. . . then it’s over.


What now?  Nachos and beer maybe. Or, do you

schedule your next race right away?


We aren’t going to discuss training plans here, but the

practical things to consider to successfully return to your

life outside of running after completing your marathon.


Most people do not fully consider the toll a marathon

plays on your body and mind. . . especially if this is

was your first.  First of all you must recognize that

every system of your body has been pushed to it’s max.


Our bodies have an amazing ability to recover.

However, this doesn’t just happen. . . you have to help

it along.  This includes:

  • Eating well
  • Re-hydrating
  • Getting some extra sleep
  • Managing Stress


These are especially key to warding off the all too

common post race cold or flu.  While your body was

working so hard, your body maintained an elevated

level of a hormone called cortisol.  This results in a

temporary weakness in your immune system.


Another great option for self care – and to thank your

body for all that hard work – is to get a massage.  Soft

tissue massage can help work out waste products that

accumulate in your muscles during a race.
However, do not spend too much time in relaxation

mode.  Most experts support an active recovery.

This includes gentle movement, stretching, and

even some light running.  If you stay in bed the rest

of the weekend after your race, you will not be able

to get out of bed come Monday morning!


Although movement is key, the type of movement

best for you is very individualized.


Ready to get back to running right away?


Wondering what the best post race training is for you?

The best thing for you to do is revisit your trainer.

They got you this far, so trust them with your post

marathon recovery plans as well.


Don’t have trainer?  Give us a call (901-316-5456)

and speak with our physical therapists. . . our PTs Matt

and Trevor are both athletic trainers as well.  They have

a lot of experience working with athletes during and

after competition.


Feeling completely burned out from running?

This is perfectly normal as well!  Try some cross training

like yoga, cycling, swimming, or a group exercise class.


The take home message. . .

Give Your Body Some Grace!

It just did amazing things for you and a little TLC will

go a long way to decreasing soreness, warding off illness,

and preparing your body for the next race.


If post marathon aches and pain persist longer than

72 hours, give us a call and let us discuss whether an

injury needs to be addressed before you return to your

normal training routine.  Request a call HERE!