6 secrets to London marathon recovery MAIN

6 secrets to London marathon recovery

With the London Marathon just over two weeks away, it’s time to start planning how you’ll recover after the race. Here’s what challenge lover and FLY LDN studio manager Claire Manning suggests

Completing any endurance challenge can take a toll on your body.

The London Marathon 2021 is happening on Sunday October 3rd – which gives you a little over two weeks to start planning how you plan to recover after the race.

The average person, depending upon height, will take between 35,000 to 50,000 steps to run a marathon – and that’s in addition to all the steps you take while training.

The London Marathon 2021 is happening on Sunday October 3rd

It is vital that you take the time for recovery and rehabilitation, both during your training and after race day. You can do some serious damage if proper recovery measures aren’t taken into place.

To help ensure you avoid these issues after the London Marathon, Healthista caught up with Claire Manning, PT, Challenge Lover and Studio Manager at FLY LDN to explain how to effectively maximise your recovery time.

#1 Eat something sugary right after the challenge

Nutrition is extremely vital in recovering from your challenge. Make sure you eat something sugary and packed with carbs as soon as you are finished with your challenge.

This could be anything from a banana to a chocolate bar. A sugary drink is also a great thing to quickly consume and helps rehydrate you quickly.

A sugary drink is also a great thing to quickly consume

Over the next few days, don’t forget that your body will still need high quality nutrition to recover. Don’t use your challenge as an excuse to eat all the junk food you’ve been avoiding during training.

If you have been using supplements, such as magnesium, during your training, keep these going while you recover.

6 secrets to marathon recovery eat something sugary

#2 Try yoga

In the days after your challenge, you may feel the itch to get back out there. Don’t! Take a break from running to avoid over training and injury.

Yoga is a great counterpoint to your challenge training and a great option for post-race day rehab.

Most people think of yoga as simply stretching but it combines balance, core, flexibility and mobility work. All of which is vital cross-training for endurance athletes.

Strengthening your core and stabiliser muscles will help you sustain good running form and keep you moving efficiently for longer without fatigue.

Flexibility and mobility work will prevent stiffness and maintain range of motion

Flexibility and mobility work will prevent stiffness and maintain range of motion, which can improve your stride length and speed while training and assist in recovery afterwards.

Choose your yoga class carefully and don’t go in at the deep end. Over-stretching can be just as damaging as none at all.

Try FLY LDN’s Slow Flow class, a slower paced class incorporating longer stretches, core and balance work.

On your rest day? Try their restorative CHILL class, a passive stretch class using props to help the body relax into deep stretches – perfect for supporting challenge training.

6 secrets to marathon recovery eat something sugary try yoga

#3 Treat yourself to a recovery massage

After race day, book yourself in for a sports or deep tissue massage. Take the time to check in with your body and identify whether you are simply stiff or whether you have picked up an injury.

not only will it good be good for the body it will massively benefit the mind as well

Tell your massage therapist where you feel any particular stiffness or soreness. If it persists after a few weeks rest, get it checked out by a specialist to ensure it’s nothing more serious.

Massages are also a great place to shut off from the world and contemplate the incredible triumph you have just achieved, so not only will it good be good for the body it will massively benefit the mind as well.

6 secrets to marathon recovery eat something sugary recovery massage

#4 Run a hot bath

In the days immediately after your challenge, you may be too sore to face a massage. If that’s the case, try a warm bath with Epsom salts.

Many endurance athletes swear by this to ease their aches and pains after long training runs or the day itself.

The research on magnesium absorption through the skin is inconclusive but the warmth will promote blood flow through tired muscles and help them relax.

6 secrets to marathon recovery run a hot bath

#5 Get enough sleep

This sounds obvious but it is easy to get caught up in your new freedom from teetotal nights and early morning training runs.

Your body does some of its best work while you’re asleep.

Make sure you maintain your early nights for at least the first few days after your challenge. Keep devices out of the bedroom and avoid caffeine or alcohol in the evenings.

6 secrets to marathon recovery sleep

#6 Mental recovery

Most people neglect the mental aspects of endurance training. It has been a long hard slog – you’ve bailed on catch ups with friends so you can be in bed early and you’ve switched lie-ins for early morning training runs.

Mental exhaustion can impact physical recovery and some downtime with friends and family can make all the difference

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