Post marathon recovery
You crossed the finish of your marathon and of course, well deserved you celebrated it. Keep enjoying it. However, what’s next? Your recovery! I know it’s hard to convince you. Maybe it will be easier to convince you to run another marathon.
Your specific preparation for your marathon lasted several months, you followed your training plan and took care of your body very well. Now, this discipline and determination you will need again for your recovery. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments did much of the work. The damage to skeletal muscles, cells, and immune system is considerable. Your body needs a break of at least one week and two even better. We must learn from professional runners. When I was one, we planned our competitions even 1 year ahead, including recovery periods. And we did not run more than 2 marathons in a year.
And if I have not yet convinced you: recent studies have shown that there is a small reduction in VO2 max. (1-3%) in the first 6-7 days after inactivity in well-trained runners. Even after two weeks of lack of training, studies show that VO2max. decreased by only six percent.
What you can do in this period is walking, swimming or cycling, but only a little (30 min) about 2 or 3 times this week.
In the first week I also recommend a massage, the best would be the Wednesday after the marathon. Your immune system is seriously compromised. Take care of your food and eat fruits and vegetables, extra vitamin C, carbohydrates with proteins.
In the second week you can max. 3 times a week activate yourself, avoiding the impact. This is not the time to include intensity and volume. Use the foamroller to continue the active recovery of your muscles.
In the third week I advise you to plan a new goal. How about a shorter race, say 10 kilometers? This is possible, making use of the preparation you did, between 6-8 weeks after the marathon. Many runners have run their personal best in a 10k race incl. 21k after a marathon. In addition, improving your times in shorter distances helps you in the future to improve in the marathon. Are you motivated? I can help you: www.germansilva.mx/webshop/
In the fourth week you can increase the volume a little, include a long distance of max. 70 minutes and an interval training controlling your rhythms, taking care of the intensity and volume in the intervals. Good luck!