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5 Tips for Recovering from Your Marathon

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If you're one of the many people who participate in marathons throughout the year, you likely already know a thing or two about health and fitness. After all, running for miles on end is a challenging feat that requires significant training and healthy lifestyle habits. However, even the most active athletes can experience discomfort after a race. Here are some ways to recover from all of that running.

Loosen tight muscles after a run.Loosen tight muscles after a run.

1. Stretch
Throughout the marathon, your muscles were working hard to keep you upright and pushing past your pain and exhaustion. They're likely to be quite sore after such a long run, and as a result, it's important to gently stretch them out. Skip this step, and you're prone to strains and other injuries - not to mention the tightness that could creep up in the days that follow.

2. Hydrate
Perspiration is moisture leaving the body. Throughout your run, you were likely sweating - a lot. Be sure to replenish all of the liquids your body lost during the marathon. If water doesn't sound appealing, try a sports drink or coconut water, which are both packed with electrolytes that can help you feel rejuvenated after a tiresome workout.

Opt for nutritious meals after a marathon.Opt for nutritious meals after a marathon.

3. Eat
After burning all of those calories during the race, you're probably famished. It's a good idea to eat after a marathon to get nutrients back into your body. Just try to choose light, healthy meals so you don't feel weighed down or uncomfortable. A case of acid reflux after a long run is probably the last thing you'll want to endure. Skip the greasy burger and opt for fresh fruits and vegetables and protein-packed dishes, like chicken or fish.

4. Treat
If you're feeling achy or sore after your run, try using a heating pad or ice pack to treat the areas that hurt. Use ice for swelling and heat for aches and strains. Sometimes, just the physical act of resting while the compress takes effect can help you feel more comfortable after extreme physical activity. The National Strength & Conditioning Association also noted that compression socks can help accelerate recovery in stressed muscles after running a marathon.

5. Rest
Follow your instincts and rest after a long run. Continuing to put stress on your muscles and joints can put you at a greater risk of injury and discomfort. Keep your post marathon activities low key. Grab a bite to eat if you're hungry and unwind on the couch after. Be sure to keep your feet elevated to improve blood flow and help you relax. After a long, grueling marathon, you're more than deserving of a little rest and relaxation.