How to recover from a Marathon/ Tough endurance event

How to recover from a Marathon/ Tough endurance event

As we are in Spring Marathon season, I thought it would be good to give you my best tips to recover from a Marathon or Tough endurance event.

 The Science

Marathons are tough on the body, muscles, tendons, cells, and almost every physiological system is pushed to the max during a marathon race.

Several scientific studies found that there was still muscle damage & inflammation up to 2 weeks after a marathon. There was cellular damage for 7 to 10 days post race. Also the immune system is compromised up to 3 days post marathon and is a major factor in overtraining syndrome.

Therefore, it is essential that all marathon runners have a 3 to 4 week marathon recovery protocol that focuses on rest and rejuvenation of these physiological systems.

Post race week 1

I sometimes see people in my running club running the next night, saying they are doing a recovery run. In my opinion you are doing serious damage running in the first 4 to 7 days.

If you need to move then a gentle walk for 20 mins and a good soak in the bath, is much more beneficial for you.

Eat lots of fruits, carbohydrates, and protein. The Carbs and protein will help repair the muscle damage while the fruits will give you a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants to help combat free radical damage and boost your immune system.

Light massage will help loosen your muscles, 3 to 7 days after.

Week 2

1x run 2 to 4 miles at the end of the week

Cross training- 1 to 2 easy sessions swimming is the best to help loosen muscles but puts no effort on the body.

Now is the time you can get a deep tissue massage if you have areas that are really bothering you or that are injured.

Continue to eat & drink healthily

Week 3

Running: Begin to slowly build back into full training with 2 to3 runs of 30 to 45 mins.

Cross Training: 1 easy session – 20 to 30mins, 1 medium session 30 to 45mins.

Week 4

You should hopefully feel ready to start your normal training plan.

Do not neglect doing some strength work, this will help get your muscles back to full strength.

Other things to take into consideration

Do not worry about loosening some fitness during the recovery phase. This will allow to train harder during your next training cycle.

Try not to plan any races for at least 6 weeks, so you can fully recover and do some training before you race.

Spas are great ways for helping your tired muscles recover.

Years of research disprove the notion that a day off wrecks fitness; in fact, the opposite is true.

Without recovery, adaptation may occur short-term, but ultimately it will fail. And since most injuries come from overuse, a day of cross-training, rest, or easy miles can prevent a three-or four-week forced breaks, caused by an injury.

Everybody is different and will recover at different speeds, so just listen to your body. If it wants more time off, then listen to it. Hope this helps all you tired marathoners out there.

What I’ve learnt in 20 years of Business


What I’ve learnt in 20 years of Business

I can’t believe that I’ve just started my 20th year in Business.  Where has that gone?

People say that time flies and it certainly does! So that got me thinking about what I’ve learnt in the last 20 years and how things change as well.

I thought I would give you a ‘run down’ of my 5 most important tips to help maintain a healthy body and future.

1) Exercise – Something is better than nothing!

We seem to live super-fast lives now, and finding time to exercise is difficult. We all know we need to do it, but life, work, families all take priority. We can all find 10 to 15 minutes every day to exercise though.  You only need a few bits of equipment if you don’t have access to a gym or don’t like outdoor exercise.

Just concentrating on one thing: e.g. abs & core for 10 mins, 3 to 4 times a week, soon brings results. Obviously if you have more time to spare that’s great, but a minimum of 10 minutes a day will ensure change.

2) Mobility & Flexibility – Keep Moving!

As human beings we were designed to run away from dinosaurs. In today’s life most people sit on average for nearly 8 hours per day. This means that slowly, over time, our joints and muscles begin to seize up.  In Winter the effects of this are especially highlighted.

Best time to stretch is late afternoon/ early evening. So when you get back from work spend 10 minutes stretching out your muscles, before you start getting involved in other things. Foam rollers are great for helping keep your muscles in better shape.

3) Strength – We all need it

Putting a small amount of strength work into our bodies is really important and here is the reason why. If you walk 1 mile at a steady pace,and you weigh for example 12st, for a man  that would be approximately 2,225 steps. Then you multiply each of those steps by double your body weight, so this means that you put through your body 53,400 stones or 339 tonnes of mass per mile. This increases considerably when running.

This huge amount of force that we put through our bodies means that doing some form of strength or resistance training is critical to keep the body from falling apart.

4) Posture – Do you slouch at your desk?

If you do, then your back gets rounded and your shoulders lift. Over time this will give you neck ache, shoulder problems and back ache, and that’s just for starters! Good posture is a combination of thinking about how you stand and sit, plus working on the 3 subject areas   mentioned above.

If you are ‘desk bound’ get up every 30 minutes; don’t email the person opposite you; get up, walk over and talk to them.

5) Diet – Eat smaller portions and drink plenty of water

If you are looking to lose some weight, then use this simple formula.  It certainly works for me and my clients. Eat 500 calories less per day and burn 500 calories extra per day.  This will lose you 1lb a week. This is the recommended amount of weight loss, and eating smaller portions will help with that.

Lots of illness is due to lack of water in the body.  We need at least 2 litres of fresh water per day. There are plenty of ‘apps’ that can help remind you to drink and track how much you drink.

Hope you have found these tips useful and that you’ll take action and find a way of fitting some of them into your daily routine.

I’d love to hear your thoughts after you’ve had time to try out my tips.  It’s always great to hear about the successes people have had when changing habits of a life time! The best place to add your thoughts is my Facebook page at