Coach Jeff

Written by Coach Jeff


How to Recover From a Marathon

Recovering from a marathon is a critical component to a perfect training plan that runners often neglect.

Unfortunately, if you don’t properly recover from your marathon, you’ll increase your injury risk, increase the total marathon recovery time, and limit your long-term potential – making it harder to break your PR and stay healthy.

As a running coach, I’ve heard all the arguments from athletes wanting to jump back into training or racing immediately after their race.

More often than not, runners who do not follow a proper post marathon recovery plan find their subsequent performances stagnating or they suffer from overtraining symptoms.

Today, we are going to give you the best ways to recover from a marathon; this article will outline the science behind post marathon fatigue, so you can feel comfortable knowing you’re preparing your body for optimal performance down the road.

Then, I am going to provide you with an optimal post marathon recovery plan to help get you back to running your best as soon as possible.

Marathon recovery is critical and often overlooked. This article will provide you with the ultimate marathon recovery plan and the time it takes to get back

What Happens To My Body When I Run A Marathon?

Marathons are tough on the body – there’s no way to sugar coat this fact.

Muscles, hormones, tendons, cells, and almost every physiological system is pushed to the max during a marathon race.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Boston qualifier or it’s your first marathon, 26.2 miles is 26.2 miles and your body has undergone tremendous physical duress, let alone the stress you have put on your body running according to your marathon training schedule.

Here is a list of some of the scientifically measured physiological systems that are most effected after a marathon and how long each takes to fully repair.

Skeletal Muscle

Muscles soreness and fatigue are the most obvious case of damage caused by running the marathon distance.

One scientific study conducted on the calf muscles of marathon runners concluded that both the intensive training for, and the marathon itself, induce inflammation and muscle fiber necrosis that significantly impaired muscle power and durability for up the 14 days post marathon.

Accordingly, it will take your muscles about 2 weeks post marathon to return to full strength.

Cellular damage

Cellular damage post marathon, which includes oxidative damage, increased production of creatinine kinase (CK) – a marker that indicates damage to skeletal and myocardial tissue, and increased myoglobin levels in the blood stream (which often results in blood being present in urine).

One study concluded that CK damage persisted more than 7 days post marathon while another study confirmed the presence of myoglobin in the bloodstream post marathon for 3-4 days post race.

Both of these studies clearly indicate that the body needs at least 7-10 days of rest post marathon to fully recover from the cellular damage caused during the race.

These markers, along with a suppressed immune system, which is discussed below, is the primary reason that the optimal marathon recovery schedule avoids cross training the first 2-3 days.

Immune system

Post marathon, the immune system is severely compromised, which increases the risk of contracting colds and the flu.

Furthermore, a suppressed immune system is one of the major causes of overtraining. A recent study confirms that the immune system is compromised up to three days post marathon and is a major factor in overtraining syndrome.

Therefore, it is critical that you rest as much as possible in the three days following a marathon and focus on eating healthy and nutrient rich foods.

The research clearly indicates that the marathon induces significant muscle, cellular, and immune system damage for 3-14 days post race.

Therefore, it is essential that all marathon runners have a 2-3 week marathon recovery protocol that focuses on rest and rejuvenation of these physiological systems.

How To Recover After Running a Marathon

We’re going to outline a nutrition, rehab, cross training, and running plan for the 3 weeks after a marathon. This rehab plan is guaranteed to help you recover faster and return to training as quickly as possible.

RunnersConnect Insider Bonus

Download your FREE Marathon Recovery Schedule for Runners inside your Insider Members area.

It’s a PDF showing how to recover correctly in the 3 weeks post marathon, plus our cross training guide with over 20 sample workouts for the most common cross training types

Click here to access

Not a RunnersConnect Insider member? It’s FREE to join. Click here to get started

Immediately post race

The immediate post race recovery protocol can be a little difficult to plan ahead of time, so I wouldn’t stress about it pre-race.

Focus your energy on pre-race nutrition and race strategy. These notes are simply to give you some guidance after the race.

After you cross the finish line, try to get something warm and get to your clothes. You’ll probably get cold very quickly, and while it won’t help you recover, getting warm will sure make you feel a lot better.

Try to find something to eat. Bananas, energy bars, sports drinks, fruit, and bagels are all good options.

Many marathoners can’t eat soon after finishing, so grab a handful of items and make your way to friends and family.

When you get back to the hotel room, you should consider an ice bath.

Fill the tub with ice and cold water and submerge your lower body for 15 minutes. You don’t need the water too cold, 55 degrees is optimal, but anything colder than 65 degrees will do.

After your ice bath, you can take a nap or walk around to try and loosen the legs.

At this point, you’ve done about all you can do for the day. Relax and relish in your accomplishment.

Days 1-3

Running: None

Cross Training: none

Recovery Tips and tricks:

  • Soak in a hot tub for 10-15 and stretch well afterwards.
  • Each lots of fruits, carbohydrates, and protein. The Carbs and protein will help repair the muscle damage while the fruits will give you a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants to help combat free radical damage and boost your immune system.
  • Light massage will help loosen your muscles. Don’t schedule a deep tissue massage yet, just a gentle effleurage massage or a light rolling with the stick.

Days 4-7

Running: One day, 2-4 miles very easy

Cross Training: Optional – Two days, 30-40 minutes easy effort. The focus is on promoting blood flow to the legs, not building fitness.

Recovery Tips and Tricks:

  • Continue eating a healthy diet
  • Now is the time you can get a deep tissue massage if you have areas that are really bothering you or that are injured.
  • Contrast bath your lower body. To contrast bath, take large trash cans and fill one with hot (hot bath temp) water and the other with ice water (cold enough so some ice still doesn’t melt) and put your whole lower body into the cold. Hold for 5 minutes and then switch to the hot for 5 mins. Repeat 2 or 3 times, ending with cold. This helps rush blood in and out of the area, which facilitates healing.
  • Epsom Salt Bath. About an hour before bed, massage your legs out with the stick or self massage and then soak in a hot/warm bath with 3 cups epsom salt and 1 cup baking soda for 10-15 minutes. After the soak, stretch real well and relax. This always perks up my legs quite a bit and you’ll also sleep great.

Days 7-14

Running: Three or four days of 4-6 miles very easy.

Cross Training: Optional – Three sessions total. One easy session and two medium effort sessions for 30-45 minutes.

Days 14-21

Running: Begin to slowly build back into full training. My suggestion is four to five runs of 4-8 miles with 4 x 20 sec strides after each run.

Cross Training: 1 easy session, 1 medium session, and 1 hard session of 40-50 minutes.

Don’t worry about losing any running fitness during this recovery period.

First, it’s much more important to ensure proper recovery so you can train even harder during your next training cycle.

If you don’t let yourself recover now, you’ll simply have to back off your workouts when it matters and put yourself on the verge of overtraining.

Likewise, you won’t lose much fitness at all.

In my experience, it takes about 2-3 weeks of training to get back into good shape and ready to start attacking workouts and planning races.

Try not to schedule any races until 6 weeks after your marathon.

I know you may want to avenge a disappointing performance or you’ll be coming off a running high and you’ll want to run every race under the sun.

However, your results won’t be as good as they might be if you just wait a few weeks and let your body recover and train a little first.

Patience is a virtue, but it will pay off in the end.

RunnersConnect Insider Bonus

Download your FREE Marathon Recovery Schedule for Runners inside your Insider Members area.

It’s a PDF showing how to recover correctly in the 3 weeks post marathon, plus our cross training guide with over 20 sample workouts for the most common cross training types

Click here to access

Not a RunnersConnect Insider member? It’s FREE to join. Click here to get started

Free Strength Training Course

The Right Way to Add Strength Training To Your Running to Avoid Injury and Improve Performance

Here’s what we’ve got for you

How the “core” actually contributes to your running and which muscle groups are most important for staying injury-free

Which type of strength training exercises are most likely to directly improve your running performance (based on scientific research)

The 5 most common mistakes runners make with strength training (and how you can fix them)


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72 Responses on “How to Recover From a Marathon

    • Haha, the ice bath is definitely a shock to the system, but I love how you can almost feel the blood rushing back to the legs when you jump back in the hot tub. I always enjoyed that sensation.

      I hope you’re able to walk up and down stairs this weekend!

      • hi jeff, just did london marathon in 3.44 but left taper too late and got to start tired . Doing your plan and correct taper what do you think potential time would be? I am a 52 yr old club cross country runner.regards grant

        • Hard to say as there isn’t really a formula or “normal” to base that off and I don’t know what your training was like heading into the race. Hopefully, good lesson learned and plenty of opportunities left to nail the taper and reach your potential.

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  2. Thanks for the sound advice- I just followed your 16 week plan to achieve my first marathon in 3:44:11. So I’ll definitely be taking this advice too.

  3. I dont know if there are many people that can relate to me as I always see times that people have run that I could never attain to…I have run 4 marathons now and I just mentally broke this past weekend–i finished under 6 hours and I was devastated. Now my best has only been 5:20, but I feel so defeated. I have never had any guidance; I am 53 years old and just run. Actually I did the Galloway for the first time and I thought that would improve my times; I always slow down the second half of the marathon. Any encouragement or words of wisdom? On the high note, this was my 30 year old daughter’s bucket list event and she finished in 5:16.

    • Bettilou….I am no expert so cannot answer your question from an experienced point of view but I felt so sad when I read your post….26.2 miles is 26.2 miles in anytime that is one hell of an achievement and at your age it is phenomenal!

      I am at 10k distances right now and cannot imagine being able to do what you do! But joining a running club seems to be the way to go…one that is specifically training for a marathon and includes speed work. My pace is about the same as yours and I have never been able to get any faster but am just about to join a club to do speedwork with them.

      Good luck….and please please, be proud of yourself, you deserve it.

      • My best marathon times occur when I run at least 5 times a week – mostly at a slowish pace. I usually follow this routine for 3 weeks followed by a recovery week where I reduce the number of Km but not number of training sessions.

        Monday – cross fit
        Tuesday – 10 to 15 Km tempo run
        Wednesday – 10 to 12 Km slow run (6-6:30 per km)
        Thursday – 10 to 15 Km slow pace with a 20 min interval training in the middle
        Friday – 10 to 12 Km slow run (6-6:30 per km)
        Saturday – no running
        Sunday – Long slow run of 15 to 36 Km

        I build up the millage from over a 16 week period and make sure I have at least 4 long runs that have been over 30km. I now run hilly trail marathons in around 3:45 and enjoy the whole run – even the last 5km – I ran my first marathon in a painful 6h 24m by the way so believe me you can definately get yourself under 4 hours.

    • Hi bettilou,
      My wife and me just finished Berlin marathon yesterday. In the age of 57., both in excellent time of 4:00 hours
      First: that you have finished marathon is the main target and great success.
      2nd: go to sport ordination and get measure your max heart frequency, laktat values and ask them for general training plan
      3. gollow on modest training plan and change the fod and you will be healthier, lose weight and be faster
      After 2 years let me know your gorgeous results
      You are on a good way
      Best regards

  4. I finished my first marathon 9 days ago. I have tried running twice now, slow easy runs, and it is very painful in my joints and my big toe, which became blistered then swollen during the race. Should I keep resting, or do some cross training, or keep trying to run?

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and research. I always love to read your blog. I just run my first marathon, did 4:18. Thought I can do better, but at this age, I take any time!
    A question – on Day 4, I feel pretty good. My chiro said I can do some cross-training (swim/bike). As I did not go all out at this marathon, would you agree that I can accelerate the recovery time? Or, this is a step towards serious injury?

    • Congrats on finishing your first marathon! If you didn’t go 100% effort, you can accelerate the build-up process slightly and add some cross training earlier. Just listen to your body!

  6. Hi! You mentioned don’t book any races 6 weeks after your marathon. Now I really want to do one full and then another one 7 weeks later. What do you think about that?

  7. Hi Bettielou,
    Reading your comment made me feel a little normal. I just ran my first marathon 3 days ago, finished in 5:46 and was so disappointed. My first half was splendid, in just over 2hours. The second half was tough because of cramps in the legs. If you get any useful advice on how to improve my second half, I’m more than happy to take it. I would like to run another marathon that’s 6 months away and hope to improve my time.i live in Cape town, we have some of the world’s most scenic marathons 🙂 Feel welcome

  8. I am a regular runner (slower) and am used to running 10-12 miles each weekend. I just ran the Marine Corp Marathon 2 days ago (my second only) – amazing and tough route. I am healing well- and I did a walk run scenario after 14 miles. My question is recovery – I would like to do a half marathon 10 days from now – is that too soon if I’m feeling alright to do that? I do not push myself for time – I enjoy the run and at a very moderate pace. I’m a spinner and cross trained yesterday which did wonders for my healing – just wondering if its a possibility?

  9. I ran a half marathon a little over 2 weeks ago and I still can’t walk without a lot of pain up and down stairs, I have to walk sideways. And running isn’t even an option. Starting to worry if something is broken somewhere in my lower inner leg/ankle area. I was fine during the race, and was able to walk after until I layed down. Then I had to he carried for 2 days bc I couldn’t put pressure. Any ideas of what this could be would be great!! Getting very antsy to get back to running! Thanks 🙂

    • Mandy, I ran a half marathon with a stress fracture(not from running) that I was unaware of. It worsened, of course, but I was in your position. I couldn’t walk up or down stairs. I went to a foot and ankle doctor, wore a boot for 4 weeks, cross trained in the pool and SLOWLY running again after 8 weeks total. Go see a doctor!

  10. Hello Coach Jeff
    I have just run my second marathon in Istanbul last sunday. First one was in Rome 17 th march. In Rome i did 4.23 hours and in Istanbul 4.10 hours. I am 51 and have been running for 5 years.
    In this morathon i started little faster than my peace as i do on my training.. Everything was very good till 35 km. Than my quadriceps muscless became very hard and getting like a stone. It did not me to move. I need it to stretch and to loosen..So that running became very hard for me last 5 km..
    What cause this things..Not enough trainig? ( WHich i did quite good training) or wrong nutritional side?
    Tnx and regards

  11. Just finished Barcelona marathon 2014…my training time said i should have done 3h55, but I actually ran it in 4:35…i just couldnt understand what happened. I got ill during training taper time, ended up in bed for 4 days…no running for first taper week, second taper week had soleus issue, which never happened b4. My training up to that time was going well…75-77km a week, with no issues, physical or mental. Then, at 30k during the race, everything felt like it was closing down. I had to run/walk, which drove me crazy….and 4 days later I am still fatigued and mentally drained from the experience…this is my second marathon…Im 58…thanks for the post-marathon advise.

  12. I ran my first race yesterday the brighton marathon…I’ve slowly been building the miles up over the past year and really try and kill my self with speed work on treadmills. I completed it in 3:35 but was well on for a 3:15 untill about mile 21-24 I just had nothing left to give and my average mile dropped from 7:45 to 8:11…if I sign up again what could help me keep the pace in those final painful miles??

  13. I ran my 4th marathon a week ago. My postmarathon recovery existed of: not running at all last week, some long relaxed walks, hydrating with tea, water etc, the ocassional glass of wine. Eating fruit, eggs, chicken, vegetables,fish, smoothies
    Coming week I’ll be building up my runs slowly again and will run another marathon in July. My legs were only stiff and a bit painful first day after the marathon

  14. Hi,
    I ran my first marathon yesterday finish 3:40 my goal was 3:30pm. I started feeling the tightness in my legs IT band, quads at mile 21 my shoes were also tight had to loosen up the laces and I was really bloated during the race. My fingers were really swollen. I’m wondering if I was dehydrated and that what caused my legs to stiffen up ad caused the swelling. It was a hilly marathon so I should expect to be sore but I’m not sure it was a water issue or if this happens in marathon. I was never sore when I did my long 20 mile runs.

  15. I have ran 6 marathons. I just completed a marathon in Canton, Ohio last Sunday at 63 years old. Although it was not my best, I ran respectable for not having a long run of over 14 miles and being injured for a month prior to Sunday. I just went out and did it. It was a 5:05 marathon but at least I completed it. I know everything I read says to take 3 – 4 weeks off but I want to go again. My soreness is about gone so we will see. Everyone who has ran a marathon should be proud. 26.2 is a long way to run, your a hero.

  16. Thank you so much for the informative and helpful advice. I ran my first marathon almost three weeks ago. The three runs I took have been difficult and extremely tireing. Even a little strength training a week ago proved to be too soon for me personally. My immune system appears to be a mess and I am afraid that I have caught a virus or something. Time to rest and ease back into my running when my strength returns. I plan to cross train a lot this summer with swimming. Tough lesson learned for future races.

  17. The training required to complete your marathon is demanding. Take a well earned rest and come back fresh.

  18. I have ran 3 marathons. 2 were flat and I recovered quick. I hit a wall with the Hilly Marathon. Still Pr at 3:22. Calves ached for weeks. I just ran an extremely hilly half in 1:38. All the feelings were surfacing again and I could have easily bonked if I had to run a full that day. I qualified for Boston and I am so scared that’s going to Happen to me there! How can I prevent my calves cramping when running hills? It’s almost debilitating! I do a lot of strength and cross training with my running….not sure what the problem is!

    • Stella, here is a link to another blog post about leg cramps that RC has put out. You might have already seen it or you might not have. Just wanted you to get it…
      From my marathon experience the “hangover” effect, whether it be physical or mental, is dependent on how deep you go into the well during that marathon. Some are harder than others, for instance, hilly ones are tougher than flat marathons. Your calve cramps most likely aren’t due to strength or lack there of but hydration issues. Also, depends on how far apart your marathons are. If you ran your hilly marathon and turned around and ran that half marathon within 3-4 weeks after you most likely weren’t fully recovered yet and not ready to run at full potential and reason for feeling flat.

  19. Great write up. To the point, time frame, issue, reason, recommendation. Succinct and informative. Well, my two weeks are up, time to hit the trails!!!!!!

  20. I’ve just completed my first marathon in 3.39 & I’m feeling great apart from severe pain in my quads. Any advice on methods to ease the pain now & ways to prevent it occuring next time. Cheers.

  21. I did my first marathon in Ljubljana(Slovenija) after my 60th birthday with a great help from your book: “16 Week to a faster marathon”. It was even faster than planed 3:13:14 but I was shattered and sore for two weeks. I continued to race les than one month after on short 5,4 km street race(20:40) and week after a half marathon for 1:28:48. But after each short race and especialy after last half marathon I am very stiff for most of week. Most of the problems are in my harmstring.
    As I am a new member in my club my colleagues are incouriging me to keep racing short races(5-8 km) as part of “Istria Winter Running League”, during december till march(9 races), but I would like to run spring marathon in Vienna. I am not shure if this will impeach my training plan because races are at sunday and satarday and sunday are my only days for long runn. And what about recovery? Should I give up the short race?

    • Hi Ivan, Congratulations on your marathon! That is fantastic! What an impressive achievement after your 60th! It is not surprising you were sore and exhausted for two weeks, we would think you were not human if you were not 🙂 It sounds like your body may need a little break. If you really want to attack the spring marathon, it would probably be best for you to back off the training for a little while to allow those pains to go away. Then you can start up again in January to train for the marathon. You could do those races as part of your workouts for your marathon training. If you can pick and choose from which races you do, I recommend that you chose a few that would coincide with your harder long runs, and complete the race (at marathon pace), and then keep going with your workout. If you chose to race this series you will most likely be risking injury. Hope this helps, but if we can assist you more, we would be happy to help! Let us know your thoughts!

    • thanks for the reply, though we generally know what to do if we pay attention to the signs that our body send to us, it is easier to decide when you hear that from someone who is competent. But we mostly listen to our heart. I’ll probably skip some short race and maybe choose one marathon a little later than Vienna.

  22. I did the London Marathon in April 2014. I plan to Marathon Maniac January 2015….at Mississippi Blues Jan 10th and Louisiana Marathon Jan 18th. I run/walk and just want to finish in 6 hours. I have done about 20 half marathons. My toes are always what bother me (feel like they are breaking during the race), but are significantly better since switching to Hokas. I’m not nursing any injuries. What is the best recovery plan for the 8 days between marathons?

  23. Hi I finished my first marathon in 05 hr and 28 min on 18 Jan at Mumbai. My left knee and right feet pains whenever I go for run longer than 6 km. Any solution to get rid of pain

  24. Hello there coaches!
    Greetings from the Philippines!

    I just conquered my first full marathon with a finished time of 6 hours and 22 minutes. Is that okay? I really wanted to push myself to the infinity and beyond. And now I’m on my second week of recovery but I still feel sores on my ankles both right and left. What should I do? I also started my day 4-7 training/recovery according to this site. And also, after finishing the full marathon I got abrasions somewhere near the inguinal area. What should be done to avoid these? Lastly, I have scheduled, half-marathon on March 15. How would I be able to run faster without exhausting myself? Thank you!

    • Great job! Congratulations on your first marathon. If you ares still sore in your ankles, it would probably be best to take another full week off. Most runners take 1-2 weeks, so that is better, and will mean you go into the next training phase healthy. We are glad to hear you are enjoying the other articles. If you would like to join our community as one of our athletes, you can sign up to our newsletter using the “start my free course” box at the top of this page. We would love to help!

      • I sincerely thank you for entertaining my queries, please find time also on answering these: “After finishing the full marathon I got abrasions somewhere near the inguinal area. What should be done to avoid these? Lastly, I have scheduled, half-marathon on March 15. How would I be able to run faster without exhausting myself? Thank you!” Thank you so much.

        • That is where you would sign up for our newsletter, and we will direct you to what you need to run faster. Unfortunately a half marathon is going to be exhausting no matter what way you train, races are supposed to be difficult, but we would love to help you train. As for the abrasions, you will have to consult with your doctor about those.

  25. Quick recovery question… In the last 4 months I have run two Boston qualifying marathons and a half marathon just three weeks after the last full. It’s now been over a month since the last full and, despite taking two full weeks to just light cross train (no running), I’m STILL feeling overtrained/ under recovered. My muscles, joints, and bones seem to be improving each week, but even slow, low mileage runs FEEL like big effort. Even a 4 mile run a full minute slower than marathon pace this morning left me exhausted. Been training solidly for 2 years now. Think this is simply overtraining? More time off needed? Or perhaps iron or thyroid levels could have been messed up from training? Desperate to feel like myself again!

  26. Hi,

    I don’t have a question as such, i’m more hoping others will of experienced something similar and will be able to offer some advice.

    I ran my first marathon yesterday in Brighton and finished with a disappointing 5hrs 7. Something happened at mile 11 and my knee was just hurting for the rest of the race by mile 22 I was having to run for a while then stop because of the pain. Mile 24 I was physically crying in pain and had to take to a strange looking run which didn’t really bend my hurt knee.

    I am still in agony today, am putting ice on my knee but am really worried that i’m not going to be able to run going forward!

    Should I stick a similar recovery plan as above? Has anybody else suffered from injury and recovered again? I love running and i’m terrified!

    • Hi Sapphire, you still finished your marathon, which is still something to be proud of. You definitely should get your knee checked out by a doctor if the pain was that bad. You should definitely take at least 2 weeks off full recovery, and see how it goes after that, but in the meantime, check with your doctor to see what they think the problem is. Your body will heal, remember you did run 26 miles yesterday 🙂 That is no easy feat! Don’t panic, just take it very easy for a few days, and rest up until you are pain free!

  27. Hi,

    Ive just completed the Paris marathon last weekend and had an amazing experience, 3:32. Id really put in the miles this time around and had already run 35+km 6-7 times in the months leading up to Paris. I know your not supposed but im an avid runner and it wasnt my first marathon and did it at a easy pace with a low heart rate. So my recovery from these training runs was always very fast.

    In Paris i obviously ran it at tempo, but not has hard as i probably could have given i never really hit that hard moment during the race. but thats for next time 🙂

    my question is, im on the brink of starting long distance trail runs and looking for my first ultra. I dont want to go back to hard too soon, but dont think i need 3-4 weeks to recover. Whats your advice for someone who typically was putting in 80-100km a week prior to marathon?



  28. Ran first marathon today. Feeeeeeling goooooood!!:D
    And I reached stadium of emotional distress at 33 km’s. Was quite of experience. Finished at 4.08. Decided with friend to go this marathon after 12km’s run and marathon was in 2 weeks:DDDD. Meh I know its wrong, but it surely was worth it!:)
    Thanking one muscular lady who carried me like 16km-25km and old dude who was sooooo goood support mate.:P
    But! Dayum how “Stick-man” alike i felt after this run:D Was quite funny to watch me and my friend…..(anddd….Yetttt painful like hell’o.O).
    Friend plans on doing another marathon in short future, but I suppose that aint worth worse result and the push.
    But I got 1 question. What helps against the cramp feeling? Salt helped me sooooo much. But yet HR was so low (140-150) cuz my jumping muscles hurt like hell. So I was basically running with chicken-steps. Unless I decided to run like sherminator again and forget the pain.
    Greetings from Kauriitossss!

    • Congratulations Kauriitos! Very exciting for you, and by the sounds of it, there will be many more marathons in your future! As for your question with cramping, it was probably not cramping, but fatigue, this post will hopefully answer your questions about that We would love for you to sign up for our newsletter, or we have a free marathon ebook for you on this page. Make sure you check those out, as they are likely to help you with your next!

  29. I just ran my first Marathon on Sunday. What a rush. I was doing really good (I think), was looking to be at or less than 5 hours, until mile 19. I was passed by someone who veered to close to me. I stepped off the road and face planted in the gravel. I tore up my face, hands & knee’s. I did finish at 5:34 but was so disappointed. I think I am healing ok, but am still so tired. I thought it was just me. But thanks to reading this post I don’t feel so bad. I did get up this morning and went to spin class and felt really good, until about 20 minutes ago. I just now feel like I could just fall over I am so exhausted. And I am really sore again. I haven’t felt this sore from spinning since I started about a year 1/2 ago. I was planning a 6 mile run tomorrow but now I am not so sure.

    • Hi Carol, oh no! Sorry to hear about your bad first experience, but at least you know it was nothing you did wrong, so you can get back out there. We are happy we were able to help you feel better. It would be a good idea to take a few more days off, and then start up again, as you still covered the distance and it would have taken a lot out of you regardless. If you do decide to run, make sure it is very easy, but as you are feeling so tired, it is probably best to just take a few more days off completely. Hope this helps!

  30. I just completed my first marathon! I really struggled at about mile 17. I ended up having to walk/run the rest due to calf muscle pain. Needless to say I didn’t make my time goal. What can I do in the future to minimize that problem?

  31. Hi I just ran NYC 3 days ago, my time was 4:39, I knew I was not fully trained so my goal was 4:22 I did good until the last few miles where I totally lost it. I am thinking about running another marathon in March ( first time I would run more than one in a year, This one was my 6th, and my last marathon before this was 3 years ago) I qualified for NYC with a half marathon. I am 60 years old and would like to run a 4 hour marathon, my best was 5 years ago at 4:07. My question is should I really wait three weeks before starting any real training? That will leave me only 3 months to prepare for the next race. I am also wondering if I should run over 3 hours during my training runs, I have been reading a great deal on this and there is a lot of theories that say over 3 hours is a waste. Would love to hear your opinion on this.

  32. Pingback: 25 Recovery Tips from the Best Ultramarathoners in the World - Runners Connect

  33. I’ve put myself 30 minutes after the marathon in a Jacuzzi. I didn’t know about the ice bath then. How does a hot bath affect one after the marathon?

  34. Pingback: Post Marathon – What now? New Goals? – run with me

  35. I am 33 and finished first marathon on 17th September (Wachao Marathon) in 3 hr 26 min. I finished first half of the distance in 1 hr 29 min with ease but took longer in second half ending up in 3 hr 26 min. I was tired but not fully wasted at the end. Realized that I can easily finish marathon below 3 hour but I have to focus well in speed training. Already started training after taking rest as suggested in this post. Would you give suggestions for speed training for sub 3 hour marathon in 4 months?

  36. I am 46 years old and I just finished my first marathon two days ago, I trained for 5 months for it and the most I ran was up to 18 miles in my training.
    I was fine till mile 15 and after that everything started hurting, the last 6 miles were so painful, the pain on my knees was just too much, I finished it but I could barely walk the last 3 miles.
    Is been two days since my marathon and my legs are swollen, going downstairs is so painful. I want know if this is normal after a marathon.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Congrats on your first marathon. Post marathon it is typical to have a bit of pain. Swelling can be typical and especially tight quads making stairs hard to navigate. When you start back up you may need to re-visit your shoes. I bet they were getting old towards the end of training. Enjoy your recovery period. You earned it!

  37. Pingback: Οι χρυσοί κανόνες αποκατάστασης των δρομέων μετά τον Μαραθώνιο

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