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Top 10 Tips to Recover After the NYC Marathon

You just ran the New York City Marathon under some of the toughest conditions and with the support of the best fans cheering you on. After months of hard work, logging hours of long runs on the weekends, fine tuning your nutrition, and honing in on your stretching and strengthening routine, now what?!?!

Time to rest, recover, and heal!

For 72 hours after running the marathon, your body is more susceptible to colds and the flu due to elevated cortisol (aka stress) levels. We share Urban Wellness Clinic’s tips for our runners to help you stay healthy and keep your immune system in top shape over the next few days.

REST… and let your muscles recover.

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1. Legs Up The Wall. After a cold and windy race pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles, we cannot stress the importance of reducing the inflammation in your legs. A great way to do this is through a supported legs up the wall (sanskrit: viparita karani), a restorative yoga pose that boosts your immune system and grounds the nervous system. By sending blood flow to your thymus, you’ll stimulate antibodies that ward off infection. Stay in the pose five to fifteen minutes and focus on your breath for maximum benefit.

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2. Foam Rolling. Another thing that is critical in these 72 hours after a marathon is foam rolling. Foam roll from distal to proximal for adequate lymph drainage (ie roll towards your heart). Add some Arinca gel, or even better, Traumeel before rolling. These topical aspirins for muscle and joint pain will alleviate aches and get you on your way to recovery.

3. Take an epsom salt bath. Try two cups of epsom salts, ½ a cup of baking soda, and some pure lavender oil to relax the body and rejuvenate. Bonus: you’re bound for a restful night’s sleep after!

4. Take the day off. You just ran a marathon, 26.2 miles, up and down bridges, in the windiest of conditions with 50,000 other runners! You deserve it.

Eat right and hydrate

5. Drink lots of water! Your body needs it. For a hydration calculator to suit your fitness and physical needs, try here: http://www.camelbak.com/hydrationcalculator

6. Load up on Vitamin C (1,000 mg twice a day) and Zinc (20-40mg/day, once a day), which wards off inflammation. Fish Oil Capsule with at least 500 mg of DHA and EPA combined helps reduce muscle soreness. Vitamin D3 (1000 IU daily) helps muscle repair. Add tumeric to your next cooked meal for a natural anti-inflammatory spice.

7. Sip some bone broth. Studies show that bone broth speeds up the bone healing process.

8. To help with muscle spasms and post-race DOMS, take 200-300 mg of magnesium citrate twice a day.

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9. Active Release Technique for muscle soreness. This one we can’t stress enough at Urban Wellness Clinic! We tell our runners to wait 2 days after the race and then come in for a treatment to prevent build up of scar tissue. Try some crawling, rocking, and rolling patterns – after 26.2 miles of linear movement, your body will thank you for pressing reset and getting back to the basic movement patterns.

10. Gratitude. Thank yourself, thank your family, thank your friends. A marathon is an incredible achievement, and it’s important to take time to reflect after our successes: thank those who stuck with you and supported you, and thank yourself for the rewarding journey. One of the things we hear over and over is that the NYC marathon is such a humbling feat. Be sure to meditate on this success, and visualize yourself going through that finish line. Honor the time, dedication and hard work that you put into this challenge.

Congratulations to all our NYC marathon runners out there! We are inspired by our patients everyday and we can’t wait to hear your stories of the race this week!