Congratulations on completing a full marathon! You should be incredibly proud of yourself for pushing through and finishing strong. The pumped-up adrenaline in your blood from the practice runs up to the race day is now waning. So what next? Remembering that recovery is just as important as the race itself is.

How to recuperate from a grueling marathon? The first step is to recover. The idea of recovery can be different for every individual. Some marathon runners, like the top ultra-runner Michael Wardian, can sprint seven marathons in seven days over seven continents. But others might need more time to recover from the rigors of running a marathon before getting into another training bout.

Here are some of the most common complaints that marathon runners have:

  • Exhaustion

  • Blisters

  • Cramps

Cramps are involuntary painful contractions of the muscles usually caused by strain or fatigue. Typically, cramps after a marathon can be taxing.

  • Try light and gentle movements like walking.

  • Wearing compression socks 48 hours after a marathon can also help speed your recovery.

  • Another thing you can do is take a nap. Experts recommend getting at least 90 minutes of sleep to help your muscles recover.

  • It is important to rest after the marathon. Allow your muscles to relax and unwind with a warm Epsom salt bath. Also, keep your legs and feet raised to help muscle recovery.

Blisters can form on the feet after a marathon. The amount of force and friction your feet experience during running causes blisters on the skin. While popping the blisters is tempting, it’s not a good idea. Popping them can make the skin more prone to infections. Instead…

  • Clean the area by soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt.

  • You can also pad the blistered area and let it heal.

  • If the blister does pop, use a hydrocolloid plaster like Compeed to speed up the healing process. Just make sure to leave it on for 2-4 days.

  • Check the affected area for any signs of swelling, redness, or heat. Check in with your healthcare provider.

Another common problem that is seen after a race is blackened toenails. Toenails can go black after sustaining high pressure. This is because blood builds up underneath the toenail, causing bruising. If you are worried about the condition of your toenails, it is best to take the professional medical advice of a podiatrist.

Healing time for every individual will be different. Getting a go-ahead from your doctor before picking up your trainers again is always a good idea. Take the expertise of our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Argirios Mantzoukas, and trained staff at Bay Podiatry Associates if you have any concerns about your foot and ankle health. Contact our office at 718-266-1986. Our office is at 8635 21st Avenue, Suite 1C, Brooklyn, NY, 11217.

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