Marathon Recovery Tips

Mile 24 of the NYC Marathon November 7, 2010

In light of the NYC Marathon today, here are some thoughts on post-marathon recovery.

1. Keep moving – it is dangerous to stop your body suddenly. Keep walking for as long as you can after you cross the finish line to allow your heart rate and blood flow to normalize. Throughout the rest of the day try to get up and walk around every 10-15 minutes to prevent muscle and joint stiffness.

2. Replenish replenish replenish! Take in calories as soon as you can. If you find it difficult to eat immediately, stick to a liquid recovery drink such as  Gatorade or V-8. We recommend eating small frequent meals for the rest of the day to replenish lost salts, carbs, and water. Try to incorporate both protein and carbs at each meal. Drink water but don’t over hydrate so your salts get diluted, aim to pee a pale yellow. If your urine is too dark you should drink more, if it is clear, hold back on the water and eat more.

3. Brace for the pain – you will be sore for several days after the race. The pain will peak around day 2 of recovery. To reduce pain and inflammation, take a brief ice bath or cold swim. As tempting as it may be, do not apply heat, have a hot bath, or hot tub. A Massage a few hours after will also help with blood flow and muscle recovery.

Anti-inflammatory foods: salmon, olive oil, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, cherries, blueberries, turmeric, garlic, ginger, green tea.


L-Glutamine is an amino-acid, a protein building block, found in high quantities in muscle tissue. Many studies have found that during prolonged exhaustive exercise plasma glutamine levels drop substantially. L-Glutamine powder is tasteless and can be added to water before, during and after a workout to stop muscle breakdown and begin recovery. Take another dose an hour before bedtime, since body tissues repair during sleep and can use the much-needed amino acids during this prolonged repair phase. Dietary sources of L-glutamine include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, wheat, cabbage, beets, beans, spinach, and parsley. Here are some brands we trust.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are anti-inflammatory and prevent joint pain and swelling particularly when caused by the impact of running. Emergen-C makes a powdered Joint Health Supplement that can be found in most pharmacies and health food stores.

Iron helps deliver oxygen to the muscles to improve endurance and prevent tears and fatigue. Take with vitamin C to improve absorption.

Calcium and Vitamin D need to be taken together, as vitamin D is needed for the body to process calcium. Calcium strengthens bones and prevents stress fractures. You can obtain it from supplements and dietary sources such as skim-milk and low-fat yogurts, and cheeses.

Disclaimer: The information in this article and on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. None of the products mentioned in this article or on this website are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained from a medical professional. This information is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not providing medical, psychological, or nutritional counseling services on this site. The information on this Web site does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, and interactions. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this site is expressly disclaimed. This information has not been evaluated or approved by the U.S. FDA.

2 responses to “Marathon Recovery Tips

  1. You’ve got a great supplement stack there! I recently started running and was having typical novice-runner recovery troubled and leg and join pain. I started supplementing with both of your recommendations just over a month ago and I’ve gone from running 2km and having a bad knee for days after to running 5km straight with no pain or discomfort at all. Great advice!

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