Recovery is one of the vital factors in training, meaning athletes need to provide their bodies a chance to recover and repair after a competition. What you do the initial few hours and days after a marathon is as important as what you do immediately before it. This period is critical to your recovery plus your future running and it is in the course of the recovery process that runners acquire the benefits of the workouts themselves. So now that the race is over, what do we do next?
The one fact to remember is that recovery starts instantly after a run. After a workout/race the body is able to begin the healing process. Marathon runners and Tri-athletes should especially make the most of this window and start eating and drinking at the end of the workout so they do not fall victim to bad side effects.
These side effects can vary and are the main reasons you must always replace your electrolytes after an extreme workout. The very first is muscle soreness and fatigue. The delayed muscle soreness is a feeling of stiffness that begins 8 or more hours after exercise and could last as long as 4 days due to lack of stretching or warming up before a workout/race.
Another significant thing to do is perform a cool down after finishing your race. Try walking it off for about 10 minutes. Try to avoid stopping suddenly or lying down, this will most probably result in fainting, leg cramps or nausea. Continue to drink fluids to replace your electrolytes or if you have an electrolyte capsule take one after the race to preventmuscle cramping and replace any electrolytes you might have lost during the race.
The evening after an intense competition should see you eating plenty of carbohydrates with some extra protein as well. Avoid alcohol to celebrate your victory. Additionally it is said a cold bath is better for the muscles as opposed to a warm one, although a warm one is fine if followed by some gentle stretching.
Time between your races is very significant. After an extreme marathon race runners especially should ensure they’re allowing enough time, usually 2-3 weeks of rest is necessary with general workouts during plus on top of that around 6 weeks of coaching plus 2-3 weeks taper period – which is where the marathon runner will back off training in the last 3 weeks of the training cycle to help recover before the big race. Spacing these workouts out by two weeks or so allows for a full recovery, and for the athlete to take advantage of the previous workout in the next longer session. These times are individually based dependant upon how hard you went in your race. It is vital to get the proper recovery between races because shortening the recovery time can lead the performances in the workouts themselves to suffer, which takes away the primary advantage of those efforts. In the long run lack of recovery time will certainly hinder your performance in competitions.
At the end of the day it is recovery that will help us perform at our best. Getting the edge in any competition relies on how much rest you give your body. One thing to remember is it is your body and only you know how much time you need. Rest, it seems, is the one thing that makes us go stronger and harder.
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