The best way to recover from a half marathon

Boom! You did it, you completed the half marathon…now it’s time to put your efforts into your recovery.  

It’s always a popular topic so here are our top tips for recovery from a half marathon, but to be honest this applies to any event you might be doing this year. Just remember to look after yourself well and you’ll be able to do more of the challenges you love.

  1. I’ve finished! Now what?

  • Keep moving (sorry!), walk around as much as you can post-race to keep the blood flowing to your muscles and prevent stiffness and cramping. 

  • Stretch - stretch out those tired legs, they’ve worked hard.

  • Hydrate - drink plenty of water, coconut water or a sports drink. You can have a beer but try and keep it to one! :-)

  • Refuel -  a banana is ideal but try to have something within 60 minutes of finishing.

2. Post-race (same day) 

  • Refuel - try to eat a couple of small meals high in protein and carbs. We like bagels with eggs, salmon and avocado as our post-race meal. 

  • Soak - have a soak in a warm (not hot) bath, add epsom salts to help with muscle aches. 

  • Rest - put your feet up, literally. Elevate those legs. 

  • Hydrate - more water (or a sports drink), check the colour of your urine to make sure you are hydrated enough. 

  • Sleep - get some good zzzzs in!  

  • Compression - this one is up to you, but some people find wearing compression clothing aids recovery.   

3. The following days

  • Hydration (again!) - you might wake up feeling stiff so keep the hydration up! It really will help flush out all the toxins and help recovery. 

  • Refuel - keep the good food going in! 

  • Massage - use a foam roller, concentrate on areas giving you any trouble, probably your calves, quads or hamstrings.

  • More massage - definitely book a sports massage. Research shows the sooner you have a massage post-race the better so we suggest the next day or so. Hydrate well after using the foam roller or having a sports massage.  

  • Move - when you feel up to it, a gentle jog/walk will help encourage blood flow to your muscles. 

4. The following week

  • Start to build up your running again, but only if your muscles feel fine to do so. Try mixing in some cross-training (so you are using muscles you didn’t use for the run), swimming, yoga or Pilates to build overall strength. 

  • Running too soon after a big event can do more harm than good. Rest days are important, take them!  

If you need a massage, or something doesn’t feel quite right - we are here to help!