Post Marathon Recovery Specialists
Running a marathon tests your endurance and your conditioning. But once the race is over, you need time to recover. Even professional athletes need downtime.
You can shorten your post-marathon recovery period by visiting your local New York City physical therapy practice for some proven healing techniques and advice. TRI Physical Therapy has fitness experts to help your body recuperate from the trauma of running 26.2 miles.
Running the marathon in New York City is one of the most visible ways to show that you’ve reached your peak physical fitness goals.
While it’s not for everyone, a marathon is the ultimate test for runners and a competitive contest to prove your mettle. You need to focus on the singular task as you gear up for running the race. The training period, the diet shift and the commitment require a lot of fortitude.
Just as important as the preparation for the marathon is how you handle the recovery process afterward. A variety of conditions can affect how your body responds to recovering after a marathon. Some involve your age and health, the weather during the race and your level of training. The recovery period may be different for each runner, but some marathon recovery issues are universal.
The Effects of a Marathon on Your Body
While completing a marathon is a test of your fitness and endurance, running 26.2 miles takes a tremendous toll on your body. In addition to sore muscles and exhausted food stores from the exertion, you’re likely going to be dehydrated and suffering from a number of physical traumas your body hasn’t had a chance to fully process yet.
The most directly affected physiological systems of your body during and after a marathon include your:
- Cells. After the marathon, you may experience significant cellular damage. For example, you likely sustained oxidative damage that elevates the production of creatine kinase (CK), an enzyme your muscles need to work properly. Your bloodstream may also have elevated myoglobin levels, which causes the appearance of blood in your urine.
- Immune system. Your immune system is severely taxed after a marathon, given how much trauma your body endured. During your recovery period, your chances of catching a cold or the flu are increased. Immediately after the marathon, put on warm clothing to keep your body from going into a state of shock. You may need two to three weeks to recover after the race.
- Skeletal muscles. It takes about two weeks to regain full strength in your muscles after running a marathon. You may need to take special care of your hips,knees and feet. To aid your recovery process, take a bath with Epsom salts in the water, which soothes your muscles, helping them heal and recover.
Marathon Recovery Treatments
Besides doing all the sensible things to help your body recover, seek out a qualified Brooklyn physical therapy practice. TRI Physical Therapy offers many post-marathon recovery options, but not all are appropriate for every runner. Recovery should be calming, not stressful, a way to add ease to your lifestyle. Talk to your physical therapist to determine which recovery treatments are right for you:
- Sleep. One of the most important parts of your recovery is getting sufficient sleep. When you sleep, your body works to repair minor damage to muscles, secretes a natural muscle-building human growth hormone and refills your energy stores.
- Stretching. Dynamic stretching post-race is good for your muscles since they’re already warm and limber. A good post-marathon stretch reduces the risk of hamstring and other injuries caused by tight limbs.
- Cold therapy. Consisting of applied ice packs, ice baths or cryotherapy chambers, cold therapy methods may reduce pain and swelling in your muscles by constricting your blood vessels. Just don’t overdo it, because the blood rushing to your injuries heal them heal.
- Compression clothing. Compression clothing aids in moving blood and other fluids from your legs and feet back up to your heart. Compression clothing helps reduce fatigue and soreness caused by a build-up of metabolic waste in your extremities.
- Foam rolling. This technique acts as a good massage method that can ease tension in your muscles and release trigger points that are causing you pain.
- Massage. Therapeutic massages at your local physical therapy practice help to decrease tension, release adhesions, improve your range of motion and realign muscle fibers. Also try the Active Release Technique (ART) for removing adhesions.
- Active recovery. This involves returning to exercises such as cycling, swimming and strength training. These exercises increase blood flow while keeping your muscles and joints from locking up.
- Electric muscle stimulation. Administered by a trained physical therapist, a handheld device passively activates your muscles, which works to lower any inflammation and elevate your blood flow. Electric muscle stimulation causes no stress to your tendons or joints.
- Psychological recovery. As important as your physical recovery is your mental and emotional recovery. Taking time out to rest from all activities gives you peace of mind and a much-needed psychological recharge.