Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
Running the Chevron Houston Marathon in January? Prepare yourself with this Post-Marathon Guide, provided in infographic form by Hospital for Special Surgery.
First Things First…
Listen to your body! If you are completely exhausted and aching in muscles you didn’t even know you had, then it’s time to rest. Your body will tell you when enough is enough! Ready to refuel? Here’s how to do it in three steps…
- Immediately following the race, replenish carbs, rebuild proteins, and rehydrate with 16 to 32 ounces of water (depending on your sweat rate).
- Next, add in solid food, as your body is able to tolerate it. Good options include: yogurt and a granola bar, fruit smoothie with a protein source, or a peanut butter and honey sandwich.
- Finally, continue to eat adequate calories for 48 hours post-race. Some marathoners prefer small, frequent meals during this post-race period. Eat a range of colorful produce, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats in order to ensure adequate nutrient intake. Continue drinking fluids and minimizing alcohol intake.
(For more on this subject, check out “Eating Before/During/After a Race: Houston Sports Doc on Nutrition.”)
Four Post-Race Stretches
These four stretches can help reduce soreness after the finish line. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.
- Standing Calf Stretch. Face a wall and press with hands flat against the wall, keeping one foot in front and the other behind. Toes should point toward the wall. Hold heels down. Lean into the wall by bending your front knee. Keep the back leg straight as you lean into the wall until you feel a stretch.
- Hamstring Stretch. Stand, facing a low step. Prop one leg on the step, keeping the knee straight. With both your back and knee straight (foot relaxed), bend forward from the hip. You should feel a stretch in the back of the knee/thigh.
- Hip Flexors Stretch. Assume a half-kneeling position with the stretching leg behind you. Stay tall; shift weight forward. You should feel a stretch on the front of the back leg.
- IT Band Stretch. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on the ground. Cross one leg over the other so that the ankle of the crossed leg is near the knee of the unmoved leg. While supporting the crossed leg, slowly draw the other leg off the ground, keeping abs engaged. You should feel a stretch in the buttock of the crossed leg.
Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle
For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.