Congrats to everyone who completed the Philadelphia Half-Marathon & 8K today, and good luck to those of running the full 26.2 miles tomorrow! At special request of Radio 104.5 midday host Amber Miller (who completed her very first half-marathon today), here’s a special addition of the #RunWithRadio1045Johnny blog focused on your recovery!
Running a half-marathon doesn’t have the same impact on your body as a full marathon (in terms muscular and cellular damage); however, you likely did some damage which you’ll need to recover from if you ran your race moderately to all-out. Most likely, it will likely take you 3-7 days to fully recover (depending on your fitness level)
How can you speed up your recovery?
Hopefully, you ate a 300-600 calorie meal with a ration of 4 grams of carbs to 1 gram of protein with minimal fat, with in a couple of hours of finishing your run. (Many races hand out chocolate milk as this represents the 4:1 ratio)
You lost a lot of fluid during the race, make sure you re-hydrate and stay hydrated while your body recovers
Officially running websites will probably tell you to refrain from drinking, but I say celebrate your victory if you want to have a beer or two. You earned it! Just remember to over hydrate if you are also having a couple of cocktails to celebrate your race. You probably dehydrated yourself more than you realized you realized
RELAX YOUR MUSCLES IN THE TUB
Some swear by ice baths, while other warm baths with Epsom salt. Personally, I haven’t seen a consistent train of thought on this topic, as I usually opt for the warm/Epsom salt bath as its much more relaxing.
STRETCH AND/OR MASSAGE
Stretch as soon as your body will allow you to! If possible, schedule a massage too! I always schedule a sports massage (with my friends at Phila Massages) within a few days of the full marathon. For the full marathon, they say you should wait a few days, but for the half you should be able to schedule something the next day. If you can’t get to a proper massage, make sure you’re stretching…also, a foam roller is a great recovery tool..
A couple of days (1-3) after your race, it’s fine to go out and do an easy run of a 2-3 miles. (For the full marathon, I wait a week and then do an easy 3)
PROPER NUTRITION TO REPAIR YOUR MUSCLES
Proteins, fruits and carbs are in order after your race. Especially fruits high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which will help fight the free radical damage and strengthen your immune system.
RUN SOME MORE!
A week after your race, you should be able to get back to your ‘normal’ running routine. Probably best to gradually get back into your routine, while you assess how you feel!
CONGRATS AGAIN! You did it! If you have any additional, feedback or questions, you can always Tweet me @Radio1045Johnny