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Recovering after a marathon 

The running race season has started...Well done to those who completed the London marathon and good luck to those who are in training for any running event (particularly for the Edinburgh marathon runners at the end of May).  

Here are some tips to help your body recover after such a marathon or shorter distance races:

  • Keep hydrated – any race will have caused your body to dehydrate to a greater or lesser degree.  Drink little and often over the few days after the race
  • Eat healthily and heartily – this is not the time to diet.  Ensure you eat fruity, carbohydrates and protein to build back your immune system, replenish blood sugar levels and help rebuild damaged muscle tissue
  • Have hot baths (preferably with Epsom Salts), gently stretch and lie on the floor with your legs up against the wall for a few minutes regularly for the first few days after the event 
  • Rest – research shows that, rather than returning to easy running straight after the event, you are better to give yourself a week off running.  Gentle stretching, swimming, walking, cross-training or yoga will help to keep the muscles warm and the blood flowing.  Overdoing it will do you more damage than good.  Start easy running from week 2 and slowly build up the intensity.
  • Get a good treatment – Osteopathy, massage and other manual therapy can help to release out trigger points and release myofascial stress and other tension throughout the body.  Stick to a gentle massage or effleurage in the first 3 days after the event or wait and opt for a deeper massage from day 4 onwards. 
  • Try not to schedule another race until about 6 weeks after a marathon

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