It doesn’t matter if this is your first or tenth marathon, you must take recovery seriously when training for the big event. Running long distances will place a great deal of pressure on both your mind and body, so you will need plenty of rest and recovery to build up your stamina and endurance.
To exceed your personal best on race day and avoid an injury, read the following advice on how to quickly recover from marathon training.
Enjoy Plenty of Sleep
If you want to be filled with energy a day after training, you should aim to enjoy a minimum of eight hours of sleep. You might be surprised to learn that your body will enter various cycles during sleep, and important growth hormones will be released once you enter deep sleep.
Fuel Your Body with Carbs and Protein
Poor nutrition can lead to an inhibited performance and a longer recovery time. If you want to feel energetic following a day of intense training, you must fuel your body with healthy produce 15 to 30 minutes after completing a session.
For fast recovery, you should enjoy a dish that is one-part protein and three parts carbohydrates. Alternatively, you could consume it in liquid forms, such as a performance shake, which is an ideal option for people on-the-go.
Consuming a 4:1 ratio of both carbs and protein can help your muscles to quickly repair themselves, so you’ll feel stronger, flexible and more energetic at the next training session. As a result, you’ll be able to push your body harder and potentially beat your personal best.
Schedule Recovery Weeks
Training for a marathon can be both mentally and physically exhausting. After all, you’ll be required to increase your time and pace week after week. For this reason, you should aim to incorporate a recovery week into your training schedule, which will provide your body will some much-needed rest.
You could unwind by watching Netflix on the sofa. Alternatively, if you love nothing more than immersing yourself in a fun sports tournament, you could always time your recovery week for a major event. For example, you could take a week off during Euro 2020, which will provide you with plenty of time to watch many big games, review the current tournament odds and stay up-to-date on the latest football news. It will allow you to physically and mentally distance yourself from the upcoming challenge, which could help you to return to training with a fresh mindset.
Slowly Increase Your Speed
Regardless of whether you run every day of the week or are new to the exercise, you must slowly increase your speed each session. Starting too fast will not only quickly drain your energy levels, but will almost guarantee you’ll suffer from stiff and sore leg muscles following your run.
Buy Compression Garments
Every beginner or experienced runner would be wise to invest in recovery-focused products. For example, many people training for a marathon often purchase compression socks and tights. Research has found they can improve a person’s blood flow, which can speed up their recovery time following intense training.
Don’t Overlook Icing Your Muscles
It is common for runners to experience a lot of inflammation within the connective tissues in the hips, knees, ankles and feet. Consequently, a runner could develop an overuse injury that could prevent them from completing training and participating in an upcoming marathon.
To reduce inflammation in the body, try icing your muscles or you could even sit in an ice bath for a few minutes. Many athletes in various sports swear by cryotherapy as an effective recovery method, as it can alleviate or prevent various aches and pains.
Treat Yourself to a Sports Massage
Training for a marathon requires a great deal of your time, effort and dedication. There will be days when you will need to pull yourself out of bed to go for a run, or you might be forced to endure arduous weather conditions to reach your fitness goals. Due to the physical and mental pressure, you will more than deserve a restorative massage.
A professional sports massage will be worth the expense, as they will know how to remove any tension deep inside your muscles, which will have built up during training. While a sports massage can be more aggressive in comparison to the standard massage methods, you’ll leave the table feeling like a brand-new person.
If, however, you don’t want a sports massage, you could eliminate any knots in your muscles at home by using a foam roller, massage stick or tennis ball.
Runners must ensure they drink plenty of water before, during and after a run. This will boost their energy levels and can prevent painful cramping. Ensure you drink a minimum of eight ounces of water at least half an hour before a run, which will keep your body hydrated and will support your performance. If you plan to run more than 10 kilometres, you must take a water bottle with you or pick up a bottle at a store along your route.
Regularly Replace Your Shoes
Running many miles each day will take its toll on your running shoes, which can lead to aching legs and feet, as the mid-soles will start to wear away once you’ve hit 300 miles. To prevent pain during or after a run, you should regularly replace your shoes.
Never Forget to Cool Down
It can be tempting to take off your running shoes once your route is complete. However, you must set at least three minutes aside to effectively cool down. If you fail to do so, you can guarantee you’ll be struggling with aching legs for the rest of the day, which could also impact your performance during your next training session. So, slowly decrease your speed at the end of the session and stretch out your muscles. You’ll be glad you did.
So, if you have your heart set on completing a marathon in 2020, you should follow the above recovery tips to boost your performance.