Treat Yo Self: 6 Post-Marathon Recovery Tips You Owe Yourself

Alain Saint-Dic
Alain Saint-Dic, Health and Fitness Editor at 20something, brings over nine years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Though he studied pre-law, his love for the human body, it's adaptive ability and unlocking the largely untapped potential of human beings led him to pursue a passionate career in health, fitness, and athletics.

The big day has come and gone. If you weren’t out two nights ago, bringing joy and terror to your local bar, it might’ve been because you decided to take on one of the most impressive and grueling feats — the New York City Marathon.

No matter how long the journey took, you did it. You’ve conquered a uniquely challenging course with thousands of other people from around the world. Once the post race endorphin rush subsides, you’ll likely find that you left most of your body on that course. One of the most important parts of training and competing, is the recovery process. It’s time to reclaim your former self, with the difference of having an exceptional marathon under your belt.


Schedule your rest periods

Rest has to be scheduled. Sure you can collapse at some point when your body is completely drained, but if you schedule set rest periods to allow your muscles to heal, you will bounce back quicker. No matter who you are, you’ve broken down parts of your body in pursuit of this conquest, so it’s time to let it rebuild.


Food=Energy, Food=Muscle building blocks, so Food=recovery. Eat your heart out, treat yourself to a few huge delicious meals, post race.


Get your massage on

A post race massage may be one of the fastest ways to help your muscles recover. Though it may be painful, it will bring your muscles much relief and a fresh supply of blood, packing tons of oxygen and nutrients.

Ice ice baby your whole body 

In addition to a fresh blood supply, you’ll want to reduce inflammation from the stress cause to your body. Ice packs are cool, ice baths are cooler, German cryogenic tanks are coolest. Whatever your method is, facilitate a connection between some cold stuff and your body.


Post-race recovery workours are OK too

I would recommend staying off your legs for the next few days, however if you simply can’t, post-race recovery runs won’t kill you. As long as they’re low impact, and very easy. Your recovery presences should stay around stationary cycling and low intensity swims.

Reward yourself, aka treat yo self, cause you’ve earned it 

This is the most important part of the recovery. You just completed something which required heart, dedication, a pinch of insanity, and a dash of amazingness. You absolutely must reward yourself. Sure your friends and family are probably losing their minds at your accomplishment, but you know yourself best, so take some time to appreciate yourself.

marathon finish line