David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about tips, tools, and recovery for pre and post Marathon run.
The 2016 NYC Marathon is less than 4 weeks away...
Is this your first NYC Marathon? Taking on the training and then running a marathon is a big deal. Congrats!
Hopefully, at this point, you are feeling close to ready. However, it's normal to freak out a bit and get worried that you haven't run that many longer runs, and that none of them are a full marathon. Having worked on 100's of runners over the years, we can tell you to trust the process and stick to the training schedule.
Here are a few extra tips to make your first (or seventh...) marathon a great experience instead of a slog.
What to do in the next few weeks to prepare for NYC Marathon recovery
If you are feeling comfortable with the length of runs on you training schedule, great! Keep up what you are doing 🙂
If you are experiencing any consistent pains on your runs, book a massage therapy session and/or physical therapy session to relieve the pain. Mild to medium pain at this point in your training will add up to a real injury on race day. And make your marathon an excruciating experience. It will also mean a lot more work after the marathon to rehabilitate. Often these pains can be dealt with in a few sessions now with a good therapist. Suffering through pain until after the run is playing with fire.
Some common pain types for runners:
- runner's knee
- heel pain and/or foot pain
- hip pain and/or groin pain
- shin splints
- plantar fasciitis
- neck pain and shoulder pain
What to do to AFTER for NYC Marathon recovery
Book a post race recovery massage and have it scheduled 2-7 days after the marathon. Your body will be super sore and depleted. If can often take a full 2 weeks to recover and feel normal. A light to medium pressure full body sports massage will help you recover in half the time (or less!). You've put all of these hours into training, run 26.2 miles, raised money, etc. Why not treat yourself to a lot less pain and suffering after the marathon?
If this is your very first marathon, we suggest booking a marathon recovery massage about 3-5 days after. It will take several days for your body to process enough of the lactic acid to where a massage will have you feeling better. If you've run a marathon before, some seasoned runners book a marathon recovery massage for the evening of the race! Others book the next day or the day after that.
For self-care, drink more water than normal for several days, and eat more protein. You'll need the protein to rebuild torn up muscle tissue. If you get hungry, listen to that and eat something. Take contrast showers....hot, then cold, then hot, then cold.
Your system will be working overtime trying to heal hundreds of small micro-tears, and trying to flush out way more waste than it's used to dealing with. Trying to live "business as usual" is a asking for grief. Sleep lots. Stretch lots. Don't run for 2-3 weeks! (For realz).