This year I ran my fourth Half Marathon and third consecutive year of running the #SCMM. My first year, I was most dedicated and followed a very strict schedule. I think I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to run a 21 kms. This fear helped me perform better and race timing was not a concern as I was setting my first record. Over the next two years, I have worked hard, fretted, run but my timing has not improved by a minute also :). I know some of you can identify with it. What has happened though, is that I have become fitter, stronger and am more at peace with my timing and that has made running seem more pleasurable than stressful. I did go around posting how my exams are over after the #SCMM but that was only in jest. Also, here I would like to mention that my ASICS correction shoes and taping, in the areas that I had been cramping post my Airtel Delhi Half Marathon helped me sail through the marathon. And I am injury free this year.
ASICS was the official sponsor of the #SCMM this year and I am proud to be associated with them.
The first 1000 finishers(850 male +150 female) in the Full and Half Marathon categories will be awarded the ASICS Finishers Tee. Eligible runners will be contacted for details regarding this after the race. This process will take at least 21 working days. #SCMM. Also runners good news is that apart from the Mumbai store in Phoenix mall, ASICS has opened a store in Chennai at Express Avenue Mall and plans to have 4 stores by the end of January 2016. Some more exciting news to look forward to is the launch of a new Apparel and shoe by Feb.
Every year I see FB posts by runners post marathon stating how they beat their last year’s target or how they under achieved by a few minutes or seconds. And these are typically performers! I also see posts from runners who are running for the first time and they are the ones who are super happy about their performance even if they are actually underperforming. Now, I absolutely imbibe that attitude to the previous one any day.
Running should be relaxing, fun and I would say meditative. There is a natural pace and body strength and gait and there is only that much you will improve. So stop putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and your body.
What should you do immediately after a run;
- Keep walking for 10-15 mins so that heart rate comes to base level, circulation diverts back to resting state & flushes lactic acid from muscles(though one feels like dropping down and rest moment you cross the finish line).
- Keep drinking replenishing fluids like electral/water, Gatorade to prevent dehydration and cramping. Keep sipping the fluids through the day.
- Food: Eat 200-300 calories easily digestible snack like a banana or 1/2 turkey sandwich, yogurt etc within 30-60 minutes of finishing the race. This is known as the ‘Golden hour’, as the muscles are ready to refuel and recharge so that they can recover faster. The food should be a mix of 3 parts of carbohydrates and 1 part of the protein.
- It’s a good idea to take cold soaks(temperature lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5 – 10 mins as it helps to decrease the inflammation in the legs. Compression leggings would be a good idea too.
- For next couple of hours keep your legs up or take a nap. This is the best way to recover.
- Now you are ready to have some meal make sure you are not eating a very heavy meal.
- Massage, stretch & foam roll: –
Stretch and foam roll are ideally done 2 -6 hrs post the race. If you are feeling cramps and pain, do icing and gentle stretching effleurage (gentle stroking) to ease out the pain.
Massage should wait for 24 hrs and it should be a light stroking. A deep tissue massage can increase the soreness.
- Do not try to exercise at all that day. Instead, go for a walk.
Post Marathon Recovery Plan
She suggests different recovery routes for HM runners and FM runners.
The recovery from a marathon, in general, should follow the following criteria to avoid injuries and & have a full recovery. In the half marathon, the muscles do not cross ”THE WALL’. Whereas in the Full marathon the muscles are drained off the entire glycogen storage whereas in the half marathon you are at safe distance from that mark 20 miles ( muscles gets depleted of its glycogen if you run beyond 20 miles and hence it’s called as ‘THE WALL’). Thus, the recovery process should be longer for FM runners. Ideally, it should be 1 day for every mile run, but a week is enough.
I hope you will keep all of the above in mind and take care of your body, because if you want more miles in your shoes than your car you need to fuel it and service it better. Happy recovery :)!!
About Dr. Deepali Andhare:
Dr. Deepali Andhare is a senior Physiotherapist with over 20 years of clinical experience across India & North America that includes hospitals from Jaslok, Wockardt, Medicity to speciality care like WellSpring for sports rehabilitation & Qi Spine clinics. She is a gold medallist in her bachelors & post graduate program and also a certified McKinsey therapist. She has conducted over 300 workshops on ergonomics & spine care across corporates & schools. She currently consults at her clinics in Powai & Andheri (Mumbai).