Congratulations! You did it! 26.2 miles is nothing to be brushed off, be sure to celebrate your success! But after the celebrations, it is not uncommon to hit the Post Marathon Blues. A feeling of whole body soreness, stiffness, and the unanswered question of, “What now?”
Check out these helpful hints to avoid the Post Marathon Blues!
1) Protect your joints
For months you have been running and your joints are just plain tired. Spend the next few weeks doing different activities that are not as demanding on your joints but still challenge your body to maintain your general health and wellness. Here are some great examples:
- Swimming – the buoyancy of the water but the multi-directional resistance makes swimming, water walking, and water aerobics a great interim training program after a big race
- Cycling – if you still want to be outside to enjoy the fall weather, cycling is a great option where you get an intense cardio work out without slamming the ground with every step
- Ski and Elliptical Machines – Again the lack of pounding on the ground here protects your joints but allows you to continue working on the muscles that propel your body forward
2) Lengthen your muscles
It is very unlikely that you ran a part of your marathon sideways or backward – you are always facing forward facing the finish line. It is also probable that you haven’t done much static stretching based on the research we have provided you. So now is the time to challenge your body to work in different planes of motion and lengthen your muscles to do activities other than running. Here are some great examples of what you can do
- Yoga – Beginner yoga classes after a marathon will be challenging because your body is used to only moving in the sagittal plane. Challenge yourself to re-educate your body with rotation and lateral movements
- pilates – Pilates classes on any piece of equipment is great for lengthening your muscles against a resistance
- Gary Grey Lunge Sequences – these exercises take lunges to a whole new level! Lunging is very similar to running, but by adding in rotation and side bending new muscles are activated and stretched!
- Basic static stretching program after your work out – Call your Body Gears team to schedule a free screen to learn about what muscles groups YOU need to lengthen after your race!
3) Set short term and long term goals
Completing a marathon is a huge check off your list and it isn’t unreasonable to feel a bit lost after this great accomplishment. However, now is the time where setting goals couldn’t be more important. During your training, your goals were likely running distance related. Be creative and write yourself attainable yet challenging short-term goals to keep your body and your mind active!
Here are some examples!
- Today, I am going to do 3 static stretches before bed to address my quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
- This week, I am going to do research in 3 different places that have pools and pick one I would like to join.
- This month, I will participate in 4 yoga classes.
- By March of 2018, I am going to sign up for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon!
Again, from your Body Gears team, congratulations on your accomplishment and best of luck to you! Remember, we are right around the corner and ready to help you on your next health and wellness journey!
Authored By: DR. MEGHAN SIMONETTI-DETERS PT, DPT, MSHA, FMS-CERT, WOMEN’S HEALTH SPECIALIST
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