Alot of questions on post marathon recovery. Some important points.
1. Take one day off HARD running (I.e. speed work or long runs) for every MILE you raced. I.e a marathon you raced 26 miles. SO TAKE 26 DAYS OFF HARD RUNNING.
So for all of you wanting to race a 10 KMs this weekend? Or a marathon in 3 weeks? NO.
2. Your tissue damage is great at a cellular level. Protein is key to rebuilding tissue. Please try to eat minimum of 1.5 grams per kilo of body weight, ideally 2 grams per kilo for next 2 weeks. For perspective, an egg is about 8 grams; one chicken breast is about 25 grams.
3. Several studies indicate about 35% of marathoners get an upper respiratory tract infection (ie Cold or flu) within the first 2 weeks after a marathon. The marathon suppresses your immune system. So you must EAT WELL, lots of fruits and veggies. Sleep well. And watch your intake of anti-oxidants. Anti Oxidants keep the immune system sharp. You can buy also anti oxidant supplements in any health foods shoppe. I prefer natural based anti oxidants like Youth Juice (available in S+R).
4. Take lots of walks. Without the pounding, this will increase circulation into the muscles and speed recovery. Take a walk each night.
5. MAssage helps. Alot. Again it helps flush the lactate and toxins out of the muscles.
You may feel “OK” but I can assure you that on a deep level, you all have a great deal of muscle damage. YOu may not feel it in a 5 KMs run, but if you were to try to go 30, well, you would feel it! So take it easy. Savor the recovery and what you ahve accomplished. Remember, the world’s best runners only do 2 marathons per year. And their bodies can handle it. Take it easy. Rest is important. Nothing is worst than constant injury or illness. It is a matter of being prudent. If the Kenyans don’t do it, and they have world class coaches and fitness monitoring, probably not something a casual runner should do!
As always, happy to help if you have questions. Enjoy and savor these days!
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