5 Things to Do After you Finish a Marathon
The prospect of ‘doing’ anything after a marathon may seem ambitious; you’ve just run 26.2 miles to be fair! However, there are a few things you can do after crossing the finish line – and later down the line – to ensure that you recover well and stay motivated to keep up your fitness aims. So, what are they?
1. Keep moving
It may be the last thing your body wants to do, and it may hurt, but it is key to keep moving after you finish the marathon. By continuing to move – i.e. walking slowly, you can help prevent stiffness from setting in and keep your muscles feeling loose and limber. Movement also improves your circulation, which helps reduce swelling in your limbs and the dreaded cramp (we’ve all been there…).
After a little walk to collect your goodies and repatriate with your supporters, stretch if you can. You should also keep warm with your foil blanket provided at the finish, and any extra clothing you’ve packed.
Try also not to spend the days after the marathon sat stationary; do as much walking, gentle yoga and stretching as you can. Your body will thank you.
Replenish those fluids as soon as possible after the event with water or a sports drink. You may only feel like taking small sips; it is actually common to feel sick after running a marathon as your body releases stress hormones and is in a state of shock.
Similarly, your body needs nutrients to repair itself after the physical stress of a marathon. Within 30 minutes of finishing the race, eat a high-carbohydrate, high-protein snack or meal to refuel your body. Ideally, you would have planned your first re-fuel and taken the food with you in your bag. Bananas, bars and peanut butter are all great options.
4. Make it your moment
It can be easy to get caught up in the throng of other runners and simply focus on finding your friends and family after crossing the finish line. Remember, though, that this is YOUR moment. Take some time to take it all in – your emotions, surroundings, medal, and the huge achievement that is completing a marathon.
When you get the chance, why not share your marathon moment on your social channels with the hashtag #ManchesterMarathon – we love seeing and hearing about your experience!
Note: Even if things didn’t go to plan, try to stay positive. We don’t meet our expectations every time and you’ve still made it to the finish line, despite whatever struggles you may have faced in the process.
5. Keep the momentum going
Hopefully you have enjoyed the many rewards of training and running a marathon, from feeling motivated to train for the event, increased fitness and the event day experience itself. Set yourself new targets and keep the momentum going, by entering our the adidas Manchester Marathon 2024 in the priority period after the event, as well as perhaps the Manchester Half Marathon 2024.
Club runners can also help other people to keep the momentum going by recommending your club for new or developing runners here. Simply tell us your club name, location and reason for recommendation, and we will share this as a community piece on our website.