Good luck to all of the 2016 Chicago Marathon participants! We hope you have an amazing race and, after celebrating, will rest comfortably. To help you recovery quickly and efficiently, we’ve put together a list of five things to help your muscles heal – so you can get back to running as soon as possible, of course!
Photo by Gary Napadov.
Top 5 Marathon Recovery Tips
You might not be thirsty, but there’s a good chance you’re dehydrated. Make sure to drink water throughout the day – it will not only help your energy, but will help keep muscle soreness at bay.
Eat Right and Not Too Much
After running 26.2 miles (then walking however many more), eating is either the first or the last thing on your mind. For your first meal, choose something that is carbohydrate rich with a little bit of protein (protein helps with glucose absorption). A few hours later, choose something that is more protein-rich, such as salmon, chicken, eggs, tofu or tempeh.
Skip the Snack Bars
Consuming a post-race cookie or two is well deserved, but after that, aim for refueling with healthy, whole foods. These include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. You might think your body needs a whole pizza, but it really needs nutrients and vitamins to rebuild muscle.
Relax and Unwind
Sleep doesn’t always come easy after a marathon – dehydration or eating too little, coupled with the day’s excitement and/or anxiety can keep you awake and restless – but clocking in more than your average number of z’s is crucial for recovery. If you can, spring for a massage (you’ve earned it!) to help you relax and unwind.
Drink Your Kefir
It’s not just our favorite creamy, high-protein beverage, it’s actually recommended by the professional nutrition specialists from the U.S. Olympic Committee as part of a recovery snack. To get the most bang for your buck, pair our kefir with and a carbohydrate-rich food, such as fruit, oatmeal, whole-grain toast or dried fruit.