What should we immediately do after the marathon? Jump in an ice bath? Book a massage? Stretch?
"I would recommend all of those if facilities allow. Ice baths are important in reducing inflammation. Massage will also aid in flushing out those waste products.
Stretching should be done for a prolonged period of time but you must be aware that due to heightened metabolic responses from exercise you won't get the true benefits so I would recommend stretching again at night just before bed as this stimulates a different part of the nervous system."
26.2 miles later and we are starving. Is it ok eat straightaway?
"Eating as soon as possible after the marathon is vital as your body will be craving food following the stress it has just been under. Ensure that your diet contains lots of protein, fats and carbohydrates for good recovery. Do your best to have high quality foods – if you have low grade food growing in dirty soil or with poor substances then this will leak into your system too meaning the body will not be able to function as efficiently."
Should we continue carb loading?
"You may find that hunger is increased for a few days afterwards, so eat accordingly. However,as your level of exercise decreases dramatically, you won’t need to be fuelling the body with as much food. Just ensure that the right type of calories are being consumed, and that foods are of a high quality and high in nutrients."
What about running. When should we lace up and head out again?
"As soon as possible as this will help flush out waste products from the system and help reduce stiffness. Light runs and general movement are highly encouraged. It’s easy to become a bit lazy and just want to relax, but this makes the soreness worse and slows recovery. Running should not only be present in your program. You should still have strength training, corrective exercise, core work, and some form of stretching at least, whether that’s foam rolling or yoga."