26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #14: Post-Race Recovery

Tip14PostRaceRecovery.pngAs we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Athletes spend months planning for the 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon.  How much time do you spend thinking about what happens after the race?

The most important thing we can do is make sure you have a safe journey.  That’s why today’s tips focus on the best steps for a successful post-race recovery.

Our Medical Director, Dr. Darrin Bright, has seen and personally experienced several long-distance runs. Here are his best bets to ensure that you keep feeling good after the runner’s high fades.

  • Continue walking through the finish chute and in Celebration Village for five to 10 minutes. During the race your legs needed a significant amount of blood flow to supply the exercising muscles with fuel.  If you stop suddenly or lay down, the blood will pool in your legs and your blood pressure will drop, resulting in possible fainting, lightheadedness or cramping.
  • Start re-rehydrating and resume eating.  Gatorade and water will be available at the Finish Line.  In addition to combating dehydration, Gatorade contains carbohydrates and electrolytes that are important to replenish following the race. It also is important to eat something as soon as you can. Research shows that muscle glycogen is replaced twice as rapidly in the first hour following the race.  There will be food high in carbohydrates in the Finish area, or pack your own in your Gear Check bag.
  • Try an ice bath.  Research shows that an ice bath after a race can help with DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) aka the “marathon shuffle.”  Fill the tub with cold water and pour in a 10-pound bag of ice.  Take the ice bath for 10 minutes.
  • Rest. You deserve it!  Take a nap later in the day.  Avoid running for the first seven to 10 days during your recovery.  This can help to prevent injury and ensure a safer return to running.
  • Ask For Help: There are medical professionals and volunteers across the 26.2-mile course during the race. If you have an injury that lasts for three or more days after the race, please consult a physician.  

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comment section, or ask us on Facebook and Twitter!



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