Once you cross the finish line, though the most exhilarating part of your marathon is complete, don't forget to invest in your recovery to help finish strong.
Walker has won multiple races - including Chimera 100k, Dick Collins Firetrails 50k, Skyline to Sea 50K, Armstrong Woods 50K, Ohlone 50K, Cinderella 50K and Lake Chabot 50K. This weekend, she'll running alongside thousands of fellow runners at the LA Marathon.
Read on for some of Walker's expert recovery tips for the day after a marathon!
Rehydrate and refuel
Eating and drinking are two of the most important things to do after your marathon.
You need to eat carbohydrates and protein to replenish the glycogen in your muscles. Make sure to drink plenty of water to replace the lost fluids in your body.
Move around for 10-20 minutes
Allow yourself to take a break from running. If you feel the urge, take a brisk shake out walk or do some kind of cross training to help stretch out the muscles and fight cramping and fatigue. Swimming, cycling and yoga are all great options!
One of the most common mistakes runners make after a marathon is not allowing for enough rest. Take time off to let your body recover.
Remember, don’t push it! This 10-20 minutes of activity should still feel restful, it’s just a way to shake out the legs. Don’t overdo it.
Get plenty of rest. Your body needs to recover - not recovering properly can lead to injury.
Your body needs sleep to keep your immune system happy and your body feeling healthy.
If you can go for a massage, do it.
Experienced massage therapists can find muscles you didn’t even know you had and work out any lactic acid build-up to help release some tension and soreness from your body.
Make sure to take the time to bask in your amazing accomplishment.
So what if you didn’t PR or had a tough day out there? You finished; celebrate it. There will always be another race, another day.
Enjoy it and relax a little. You earned it!