Take care of yourself AFTER the Marathon

I have a lot of friends who will be toeing the line at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday. The weather should be perfect! I’m a little jealous and a little sad I’m not running this year.

By this point, everyone running Sunday should know what they need to do inorder to have a successful race. You know about warming up, pacing, nutrition and hydration. But what do you need to do after the race?

I’m not talking about your finishers photo or complementary Goose Island beer, I’m talking about recovery. I wanted to get you some of the best recovery info out there, so I asked the most knowledgeable people I know to get you some tips!

First on the panel is Coach Jen Harrison. Jen has been my coach for the past 2 years and made sure I got through 3 Ironman 70.3’s, 1 Marathon and Ironman Wisconsin.

Jen’s recover tips are:

  • Wear recovery socks post marathon
  • Take and ice bath 10 minutes cold/10 minutes hot – you can repeat this
  • Sit in a hot tub and stretch out the beat up muscles
  • Eat lean protein and healthy whole grains to recover – Beer is OK (That’s why I love you Jen!)
  • Re-hydration
  • Cross Training to aide muscles in recovery – Swimming & Cycling
  • Foam Roll
  • Get a massage

Dr. Rick Kattouf II is a fitness and nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s Premier Experts. He’s the creator of  5-Round Fury and 5-Round Fury Fitness.

Dr. Rick’s tips:

  • Take a number of days off of running. Even if you feel like you’re recovering well, the body is still beat up from all the training and the race.
  • Roll out the body using a foam roller or similar. Focus on the quads and IT Band as these took a beating and they need some love and attention.
  • Refuel the body…getting in the proper fuel will help to facilitate recovery. Eat small frequent meals/snacks all throughout the day starting from the time you awake and every 2.5-3.5 hours thereafter. Each meal/snack should consist of 45-55% carbohydrate, 15-30% fat, 15-30% protein.
  • Drink, drink, drink…water that is. Consume 15-20 ounces of water immediately upon awakening and 15-20 ounces with every meal and snack.
  • Make sleep a priority…put as much effort and energy towards getting 7-8 hours sleep as you did preparing for your marathon
  • Future goals…be sure to have another goal set. All too often, when individuals do not have goals set past their marathon, they tend to lose fitness and motivation and gain weight. Having another goal set will keep the runner more focused on all of the above tips which in turn will lead to a faster recovery!

Next up is Coach Jeff Kline and the Coaches from PRS Fit Nation. I’ve followed Jeff on twitter since I first started training for the Chicago Marathon in 2010. He has always been great about answering questions and his blog is always very helpful.

The PRSFit Team’s tips are:

  • Keep moving after the finish. Don’t just stop and sit down. The body will have a tendency to tighten and lock up. Walk around keep the blood flowing.
  • Take an ice bath.
  • Eat whatever you are craving for the next 24-48 hours post-marathon.  Go ahead, have beer and burgers, completely guilt-free.  Allow yourself the foods you wouldn’t eat during training.  Then, continue on with good nutrition, which your body needs for recovery.
  • Stretch and Foam Roll.
  • Wear compression socks/sleeves, even to bed that night.
  • Light easy Yoga to stretch out and relax.
  • Nice and Easy Recovery Bike Ride. Either on a spin bike, trainer or on the road. Gets the blood flowing and opens up the hips a little.

Last but not least is Kate Galliett from ProKine performance. Kate is a trainer, runner and coach. I got the chance to go through a workout with her and partner Drew a little while back and It was awesome!

Kate’s tips are:

  • Sleep. As much as possible without getting fired or divorced. There is a ton of recovery (growth hormone production, tissue repair, etc) happening while you sleep so skimping on it skimps your recovery. I’d aim for extra sleep for the next week to really max out recovery.
  • Get feet elevated above heart as much as possible, even when you sleep. While there is disagreement these days on whether ice is effective for soothing inflammation, elevating the feet so circulation is assisted is definitely valuable for recovery!

A common theme here is stretch and foam roll. Personally in addition to my foam roller I like to get a massage. And really who doesn’t love to get massages? Usually after the Marathon you can line up behind the other 45,000 runners to get a free 15 minute massage. But who wants to stand around all afternoon!

My good friends at Massage Envy are hooking you up! I have TWO 60 massages to give away! If you’ve never been to Massage Envy you’re missing out. Much like your health club, Massage Envy offers memberships. As a member you can get one 60 minute massage a month or combine months and get longer or specialty massages. How cool is that!

The week following Ironman Wisconsin I booked myself for a 90 minute swedish massage to work all the kinks out of my body.

To enter to win one of the two 60 minute massages, leave a comment below with your marathon or racing goal!

Thanks to all the coaches and trainers who contributed! And thanks to Massage Envy for donating the massages for the giveaway!

Have a great race everyone!

3 thoughts on “Take care of yourself AFTER the Marathon

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