Marathon is one of the best ways to test your physical capacity. It testes not only your strength and endurance, but your patience and persistence too. Maybe that is why people from all over the world are becoming more and more obsessed with doing them. Keeping in mind the good old quote: “The pain is Temporary. The pride is forever.” makes many men and women to prepare for a marathon with all their heart. But, as every good thing, it won’t come easy. Muscles, body cells, hormones and every other physiological element in our body are affected and pushed to the limit. The good news is, after finishing those miles, there are plenty of things everyone can do in order to take his body’s systems back into their normal activity. Discover some of them below:
Choose the foods and drinks carefully
Immediately after finishing the marathon, everyone should take eating a small snack very seriously. The best thing is to choose a natural snack which will feed your sored muscles and maintain a normal blood sugar level. A medium-sized banana or a small sandwich can do the trick. We know, they will not feed your appetite at all… You can eat as plenty as you want later that day. Your digestive and other body systems are not ready to continue working hard if you eat a whole meal. Remember to sip enough fluids to rehydrate the body.
Take a hot shower
Immediately after going home, have a nice hot shower. It will make your blood flow and your muscles relax. A hot, long shower, increases the oxygen transportation to your muscles and also, it improves all cardiovascular mechanisms by making your heart rate drop to a normal level. Some admit that having a contrast shower (alternating the hot and cold water during the shower) for at least 30 minutes, helps to a better blood flow to the most affected and tired areas. If you don’t see yourself trying this kind of shower, at least you can try it only on your legs. They are the most frustrated parts of your body after running a marathon, so, maybe contrast shower will more quickly do the trick.
Stretch or massage
Consider taking a good relaxing massage from an expert at least 20 hours from finishing the marathon. Or, you can choose to do some classic stretching exercises a couple of hours later. Either way, doing both of them or just one, will stretch your legs and other muscles and will replenish all the necessary fluids in your system. Stretching exercises are a must when recovering from a marathon. Try to include them at your everyday routine even when you’re in a normal or training season.
Don’t get back to a physical activity very soon
One of the biggest mistakes people, who’ve just participated into these kinds of physical activities do, is getting back to running immediately after the marathon. Don’t let anything and anyone convince you that your body doesn’t need time to recover. After a tough training season and finally the marathon, the least thing you should do is to aggravate it. Some experts think the perfect amount of time the body needs to fully recover, is at least three weeks. Of course, some yoga classes or simple exercises and light walking should be included during this period of time. But absolutely no running!
In fact, everyone who loves to run needs also a good time sleep. Especially after a long, difficult training season concluded with a marathon. Sleep recovers not only your sored and “damaged” muscles, it also stimulates their growth and bone building.
Final tip: To conclude, the main thing to be taken into consideration, is listening to yourself. Try to understand what your body is trying to tell you and don’t let your ego talk. Give the time enough time to bring things back in place. Consider running a marathon as an illness that needs to be treated with proper medication. Sleeping, eating, drinking, resting and small stretching and walking exercises are your recovery medicines!