Marathon recovery

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Here is the report of a conference organized by the Grand Toulouse Marathon which took place on Wednesday September 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm which I attended.

The speakers were :

  • - Marc BICHON (Sports doctor)
  • - Bertrand AVIGNON (Cryotherapy)
  • - Carine BEGOUIN (Podiatrist)
  • - Patrice PALACIN (Physiotherapist)
  • - Marie-Helene SIZAIRE-BICHON (Nutritionist)
  • - Cedric PELISSIER (Athlete, Marathon personal best in 2:19:31)
  • - Sophie DUARTE (Athlete, French record in the 3000m steeple)
  • - Vincent TOUMAZOU (BROOKS athlete, ultramarathon)

The basics of recovery are hydration, nutrition and sleep.
If you cannot sleep properly, consider taking 15-20 minutes naps which will be very beneficial.


From the finish line crossed

  • - You have to walk.
  • - Remember that the muscles are largely made up of water so you have to drink water after arrival to rehydrate.
  • - Favor bicarbonated waters by avoiding carbonated waters (degasify them if necessary).
  • - However it's useless to drink more than half a liter per hour.
  • - Avoid drinking the friendship beer immediately after arrival (you can drink it 3 to 4 hours after).
  • - Cover up, change clothes, especially when you have run in the rain to avoid getting cold.
  • - Get a massage, but only a light massage, the muscles have already well suffered, it's no use massaging them too hard.
  • - You must start to refuel with quick sugars (dried fruit).
  • - Do not hesitate to go and see the care teams if you have small sores on your feet (blisters, blood under your nails). The faster it's treated, the faster you will heal.
  • - In the hour following the marathon, if you can, try to take a bath in cold water (12 ° C), stay there for at least 5 minutes but not more than 15.
  • - Above all, don't do stretching !!! The muscles have been injured, there is no point in stretching them.



Within hours

  • - To replenish yourself in the following hours, take mostly food in liquid form such as liquid yogurt for example. Don't take slow burning carbohydrates, it doesn't help much.
  • - Wait 2:30 / 3H before having a real meal. You should give priority to alkaline proteins (soy, dairy products, vegetable soup, eggs). You can drink an infusion or a beer if you have managed to hold on until then.
  • - If you have a long way to go, avoid driving if someone can do it for you.
  • - Avoid sitting for too long. If you can't do otherwise put on compression stockings / socks, they are very useful for boosting venous return.
  • - If you are a smoker, avoid smoking in the hours following the marathon.
  • - To boost sleep, calm down and lower the body temperature with a cold bath. You can also raise the feet of the bed (5 to 10cm) to encourage venous return. Don't just raise the mattress, but put wedges under the feet of the bed.

The following week

  • - It takes fifteen days for restructuring muscle fibers.
  • - Compression stockings / socks can be very useful in the following days if you work in a seated position.
  • - 3 days after the marathon you can do stretching (without pain).
  • - You can start a light physical activity again: walking, cycling, swimming.
  • - You have to drink a lot. You can add food baking soda to your water.
  • - For food, after 48 hours you can return to your habits.
  • - To boost venous return, you can alternate between hot and cold (30 ° C difference).



Return to training

  • - In the 1st month, the training must have an aerobic dominance while the muscular restructuring takes place. You can also do short hill climb.
  • - From the 2nd month, resumption of the training according to the objectives by taking advantage of the acquired (volume).
  • - Don't relax on the usual diet.
  • - Don't do more than 2 marathons per year.

  • I don't say it will be easy, I says it will worth it.

  • If you want something you've never had, you'll have to do what you've never done before.

  • Your attitude matters more than your abilities. Zig Ziglar

  • Motivation is when dreams put on their work clothes. Benjamin Franklin

  • Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill

  • I do it because I can. I can because I want it. I want it because I'm told that I can't.

  • If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success. Will Smith

  • Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. W. P. Kinsella

  • Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so. Belva Davis

  • Go to the end of things before giving up.

  • Not having tried is worse than failure.

  • Every expert was once a beginner.

  • If you don't succeed the first time, shake and try again. Aaliyah

  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Henry Ford

  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

  • Crying can give you sympathy, sweat will give you results. Laurent Vicente

  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

  • Crying can give you sympathy, sweat will give you results. Laurent Vicente

  • Don't think limits. Usain Bolt

  • Running is the only medicine that my legs and my head, but also my heart and my soul, need. Laurent Vicente

  • A man who conquers himself is greater than one who conquers a thousand men in battle. Bouddha

  • If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon. Zatopek

  • Is defeated only whoever believes it. Fernando de Rojas

  • I never lose. I either win or learn. Nelson Mandela

  • I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner. Bart Yasso

  • I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards. Alberto Salazar

  • May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. Irish Blessing

  • Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving out. Keep going. Jillian Michaels

  • No matter how fast you run, you'll always be faster than those who sit on their couch. Richard Paradis

  • Ask yourself: « Can I give more? ». The answer is usually: « Yes ». Paul Tergat

  • The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. John Bingham

  • Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Oscar Wilde

  • No one ever drowned in sweat.

  • Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. Edward Stanley

  • Experience is a lantern that is worn on the back and that never shines the path. Confucius

  • It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. Lucius Annaeus Seneca

  • That little voice inside your head that says you can't do it, well... it's a liar!

  • Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

  • Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

  • Each step count.

  • Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or your predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. William Faulkner

  • We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. Roger Bannister

  • You do not get to the summit by overtaking others, but by overtaking yourself.

  • Life's battles don't always go to the strongest or fastest man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can. Steve Prefontaine

  • To win a race, the swiftness of a dart availeth not without a timely start. Jean de la Fontaine

  • If you feels good racing an ultramarathon, don't worry, it will pass... Guillaume Millet

  • Never allow your fear to grow larger than your faith. Jillian Michaels

  • Why choose to fail when success is an option? Jillian Michaels