If you're one of the thousands of American runners who will cross a marathon finish line this year, you know that your accomplishment can come with its share of aches and pains while your body recovers from 26.2 miles on the street.
To help you recover properly from your run, Jamie Walker, a personal trainer and yoga instructor who has run 15 marathons and over than 10 ultramarathons, shares her recovery do's and don'ts for the week after a marathon. She is the founder of Fit Approach and SweatGuru and recently ran the 2014 LA Marathon.
Read on for Walker's recovery do's and don'ts for the week after your marathon!
Do: Refuel and rehydrate
Eating and drinking are some of the most important things to do after a marathon. Try to eat healthy carbs and proteins to build back up the glycogen in your muscles.
Remember to drink plenty of water to restore fluid in your body.
- Learn more about food you should eat that you've been told are bad for you
More than likely, you'll be sore and stiff the days and week after a marathon. You just ran 26.2 miles!
Take some time to stretch or do yoga to flush out some of the lactic acid build-up. Your body will thank you for it!
Do: Move around
While you don't want to overdo it with exercise, movement is key to reducing pain and stiffness.
Whether you do yoga, cross training, or activities like swimming, cycling, or brisk walking, your recovery time will be so much faster when you incorporate some movement into your day.
Do: Take an ice bath
If you’re experiencing significant soreness or discomfort, consider taking an ice bath.
It isn't easy, but it can help relieve pain and soreness in a big way.
Don't: Obsess over your race
Celebrate your accomplishment, but don’t obsess over it. It won’t do you or anyone around you any good.
(It will likely drive your friends and family crazy!)
Resist the urge to start training again too fast. Not recovering properly can lead to injury.
Take time to let your body rest and recover so you'll be ready for your next event.
Don't: Deprive your body of fuel
If you feel hungry or thirsty the week after your marathon, you probably are!
Listen to your body and don't be afraid to eat or drink up! As always, just try to avoid binging on junk food.