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Post-Marathon Recovery Tips

Rest and Feel Better after the Big Race
  -- By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer
Running a marathon can be one of the greatest and most challenging experiences of your life.   I can’t say that I always love training for these races, but the feeling of accomplishment I experience when I cross the finish line is like no other.  That feeling is what keeps me (and a lot of other marathoners) coming back again and again. 

It’s easy to put all of your focus on preparing for the race, training to be able to complete the 26.2 mile distance.  But what about after the race is over?  It’s important to create a post-marathon recovery plan that gives your body the rest it needs while allowing you to maintain the fitness level you’ve worked so hard to achieve. 

There are different schools of thought about the best way to recover in the days and weeks after a marathon.  Some experts suggest one day of rest for each mile run, which would mean no strenuous running for at least 26 days.  Others think that’s too long, and you really need just a week or two of rest before resuming activity.  In my experience, we all recover at different rates.  What’s important is to develop a recovery plan that works best for you, based on a few basic principles.
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In the days after your race: In the weeks after your race: In the months after your race:
When to Train for Your Next Marathon
Hopefully, you’ve had such a good race experience that you’re ready to sign up for another marathon!  The next common question is:  “How long should I wait?”  Some seasoned marathon runners can do another race as soon as six weeks later, but for the average person, that’s not recommended.  Marathon training (and the race itself) is very hard on your body, so a good goal is to aim for two marathons per year.  Some people can handle more without running into problems, and others may have to train even less frequently than this general rule. As long as you’re staying injury-free, feeling good and enjoying yourself, that’s what matters most. 

Congratulations for your amazing accomplishment!  If you take good care of your body after the race is over, you’ll be ready for your next fitness challenge in no time!