5 Best Marathon & Half Marathon Recovery Tips

 In Running

5 Best Marathon & Half Marathon Recovery Tips

Every year many runners will be make their debut in both the full and half marathon distances. If this is you, you will experience the thrill of finishing an event after months of preparation with loved ones & strangers cheering you on from the sidelines. There are few better feelings. Alternately you may be a seasoned competitor of numerous half or full marathon events.

Irrespective of whether you are a debut runner or otherwise, often in the excitement of things you can forget to look after your body immediately post-race and in the following few days. The consequences of ‘dropping the ball’ on a good recovery include; injury risk, heightened fatigue, feelings of greater moodiness, and of course extreme muscle soreness!

If this year was in fact your marathon or half marathon debut the following 5 tips will help you bounce back this coming week.

My 5 Best Recovery Tips:

  1. Drink lots: Whilst obvious many runners are unaware of just how much fluid can be lost. Unlike the pools of sweat that are visible when exercising on a stationary bike, when running the convection from the wind evaporates a large portion of a runner’s sweat, meaning that much of the fluid we lose is invisible. It is possible to lose litres of fluid across a half or full marathon. When you get home weigh yourself after the event and if you knew your body weight pre- race you will be able to determine how much fluid you lost. Signs of ongoing dehydration can be headaches, concentrated urine, and feelings of being ‘washed out’. Vertical cracks/indentations in the lips can also be signs of a dehydrated body.
  2. Have a light warm down: This is important even if you do not feel like it. I’m not suggesting a 1 or 2km jog however aim to stay ‘on your feet’ and keep moving. Walking around the race precinct is a good way of doing this. 5-10mins can make a big difference to how your body responds 1-2 days post eventwhen DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) kicks in at its worst.
  3. Get a light massage: Avail yourself of medical and massage services immediately post -race. A 5-10min light massage on the legs can work wonders.

  4. Use compression garments: If you have some compression socks, pants, or garments when you get home or immediately post -race pop them on. This can help to reduce muscle soreness, and has been validated in the research as a legitimate recovery enhancer.

  5. Get a post event massage the following week after. It will typically take 1-2 days for DOMS  to kick in. Getting a remedial massage from day 2 onwards after a major running event can work wonders. This is particularly crucial if you are looking to run or participate in another event soon (eg the following weekend or fortnight). Look for an accredited remedial massage therapist for best therapeutic results.
  6. BONUS* This is one of my favourite recovery strategies and stretches. The legs up the wall facilitates great venous and lymphatic drainage and is a terrific tool in a runner’s post race recovery efforts. You can stretch in this position for anywhere from 2-3mins to 10-15mins. Move your bottom closer to the wall for best effect and a stronger stretch of the hamstrings (caution if you are suffering an acute episode of lower back pain this maybe provocative for your pain).
POGO Physio Gold Coast hamstring stretch

The wall hamstring and recovery stretch-legs up!

Happy recovery and now for planning your next running challenge….

ps. If you have completed your first half marathon and you are looking to jump up to the full marathon download a copy of my FREE e-book ‘5 Keys to Preparing Well for Your First Marathon’. Simply click through HERE, scroll down the page, and enter your details.

POGO Physio 5 Keys to Preparing for Your First Marathon -ebook COVER


Brad Beer (APAM)

Physiotherapist, Best Selling Author ‘You CAN Run Pain Free!’ , POGO Founder, Runner

POGO Physio Gold Coast Brad Beer running physio book

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Showing 2 comments
  • Sue Caldwell

    Would love your free e book

    • Brad Beer

      Apologies that the link was broken-have juste emailed it to you 🙂 Brad

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