After The Marathon
After The Marathon
Pat Connelly (Running Coach for LA Roadrunners and Valencia High School) gives expert video advice on: What should I do directly after the marathon?; What are the best food and drinks for after the marathon?; How should I feel after the marathon is over? and more...
What should I do directly after the marathon?
After the marathon, many times the focus is on what you do to get ready, and little thought is about after, and that is critical. You need to have a plan after the race, and obviously that goes through a step from the time that the metal goes around your neck, you cross the finish line, you go to have your chip taken off and the next thing is they put a wrap around you to keep you warm. The first thing you want to do is get to some type of energy intake - all marathons have it, oranges, bananas, electrolyte drinks, things to start replenishing, as soon as possible, your body for the depletion that you have given it. Then it would be great if you can have a massage to work those muscles out. Another thing that is great after a race is to sit in a bathtub with ice cubes, just long enough, on the lactic acid build-up that's in the muscles. It is an excellent way to get through the difficulty after a race. Then of course you have to look at the extension, the days after, when do you start running again.
What are the best food and drinks for after the marathon?
Your normal diet is the best after a race. However, the areas of depletion have to be replaced, and the fastest depletion replacement is a liquid diet. If you get into the electrolyte drinks, and that is probably the best, and then go to the softer digestible foods, that would give you the energy. You wouldn't want to go and have a big steak and French fries, but certainly I'd have a broiled piece of chicken, some mashed potatoes, a light soft green salad, and then the priority is that liquid intake.
How should I feel after the marathon is over?
It is not fun after the race, ladies and gentlemen. After the race, you are not going to feel good. You are going to be questioning your sanity, "Why did I ever do this?" Sometime between that evening and the next evening, you will be wondering when the next race is. For now, you should not feel good after the race. Your body has just taken 49,000 steps on the pavement. That is 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch jamming up through your ankles, knees and hips. There is a lot of bruising involved, so you need to wait until that healing process has its way. That is going to take anywhere from three days to three weeks.
What is a 'shake-out run or walk'?
A 'shake-out run or walk' is just like a jell-o, limber feeling. You go out easier than marathon pace, and you teach your body to recover. You make it work just a little bit, so your heart is reconditioning the muscles via the blood stream. It starts working you back into a comfortable conditioning level.
What should I do the week following the race?
The week following the race is really to rest and repay your body. You don't have to run every day. The first couple of days you should do some light jogging and running, but 15 minutes, 20 minutes, just so you rejuvenate your body a little bit. For every day, every mile you race, the rule of thumb is that you have one day recovery. If you run a marathon, you've got a 3 to 4 week recovery. For the first week I wouldn't be thinking about any training plan, any kind of track workout or interval or hill running. Repay your body back and go out and run along and smell the roses.