Over 40,000 people will be taking part in this year’s London Marathon which is taking place on Sunday 28th April. Many of these runners will be feeling rather worse for wear on Monday 29th after 26.2 miles of pounding the pavements of London. To try and help aid their recovery we have come up with some top tips to help to get runners, whatever speed, ability or distance, back on their feet after the big race! 

For some this is such a monumental distance but there are ways to minimise the inevitable discomfort in the aftermath. Our Chiropractor Melissa Folly looks back on her own experience of marathon training, including fitting in rest days and how to prepare for the big event:

“It’s a goal a lot of runners aim for and an obvious next target once you’ve completed a few half distances. It’s far from easy and although the event itself is daunting the extensive training leading up to it can be the biggest challenge. You’ve got to be realistic with your goals and not over train, this is often when injuries can happen. Rest days and lighter activity days are just as important and a real key to success. Set your training schedule to work around your daily commitments and be flexible, life with throw in a few bumps along the way and being able to adapt will help you in the long run (excuse the pun!).  

Consider all aspects of your health during this time and pull back on the intensity of training if you’re not feeling great or you’re sleep deprived. Nutrition is such a big part of health and there is so much information out there that it can be confusing but if you work on the basics – eat whole foods, reduce refined carbohydrates, sugars and junk foods, focus on seasonal vegetables, fruit and have a high intake of good protein (organic meat, lentils, pulses, nuts and seeds) based on these principles you should be well fuelled.  

London is so big, and a lot of people dream of making this a goal but there are some other great local marathons that can be less intimidating and offer a variety of scenery and terrains. If you usually run trail and track, a road event might be too much for your legs and again an injury is then more likely, so pick wisely.  

During the event itself we need to remember to ‘check in’ on our bodies and not let adrenaline take over and push ourselves too hard. Often it is only afterwards that the damage is revealed. Stopping at the first sign of pain, especially during training is important.” 

Here at Spinavita we have some top tips on a safe and effective way to wind-down and recover after the event: 

  • Don’t Stop Moving: Keep gently mobile, e.g. slow, gentle walking for 5-10 minutes. It is the last thing you feel like doing but remaining static should be avoided at all cost!
  • Stretch and Breath: A gentle stretch and deep breathing after the race will help to prevent muscle soreness in the days following. Breathing in more oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide will encourage the muscles to remain flexible and the heart rate to fall gradually to your natural resting rhythm, as well as helping to rid the body of lactic acid build up.
  • Ice, Ice, Ice: For specific injuries such as problems with joints, applying ice is recommended. This is most effective when done immediately but still works when applied in the days following the race 
  • Hydration: Drink water in small but regular amounts. Avoid drinking alcohol until fully rehydrated. 
  • Rest: It’s important to let your body recovery from a big race, especially that of a marathon distance. Give yourself a couple of days rest before you get back into any physical activity and start off with light exercise to prevent injury. It might be a good idea to book a few days off work following the race so you can concentrate on your recovery and get lots of sleep.

Before any event, training is the key! Chiropractic treatment can help to keep any aches pains and niggles at bay whilst you’re racking up the miles. Having regular check-ups can really help you reach your full potential and gives us that chance to address any slight pain being experienced.

Good luck to everyone taking part in a marathon or any running event this year, you really are a super hero!!