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Tips for your Post-Marathon Recovery Week

posted by
Cain Leathers

Tips for your Post-Marathon Recovery Week as seen in Cain's Weekly Rundown on 11/21/2022

1. Immediately Following the Race

Keep walking, and avoid sitting down immediately following your race, if possible, to reduce stiffness. Eat some food, celebrate, and once you arrive back at your housing accommodations, take a shower or bath to help decrease the swelling in your legs, the cooler the water the better. Cold water has regenerative properties, increases circulation, and stimulates a response in the blood vessels that will help your muscles relax and repair.

2. Sleep!

You’ve probably heard how the gold standard for optimal sleep 7-8 hours a night. However, try to aim for 9-10 hours of sleep during your recovery week if possible. It typically takes about 7 days for cellular damage to fully recover after a marathon, and the extra sleep will support, and speed up, your recovery process. If you’re struggling to hit this number, throw in some naps throughout the week. Having trouble sleeping due to soreness or stiffness? Incorporating a bath or shower and some light stretching or foam rolling before bedtime can decrease some of your tension.

3. Foam Roll & Stretch

Rolling the quads, hamstrings and glutes will ensure these muscles are functioning optimally. When you come across tender spots, who should hold the foam roller there with pressure for about 30 seconds, and you should feel less discomfort. Here are some tips to help each part specifically:


Start laying on your stomach with one quad on a roller just above your knee and slowly work your way up to the top of your thigh. Keep your knee slightly bent. You can work on the inside, middle, and outside portion of the muscle, moving slowly and pausing at any spot that’s tender.


Sit on the floor with your legs straight and a foam roller under your thighs. You can do both hamstrings at once but focusing on each one individually can isolate tender spots specific to each leg. Place your hands on the floor on either side of your butt. Lift your butt and walk your hands to roll the entire length of your hamstring. Move slowly and stop at any trigger point.


Sit with your glute on the foam roller. Like the quads and hamstrings, it is best to focus on one side of your body at a time. You can keep your leg straight out in front of you or cross your ankle over the opposite knee. Slowly roll over your glute, focusing on tender areas.

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4.   Go for Light Walks

This is a perfect way to get your body moving again in a slow, easy manner! A 15-20-minute walk around the block, or through your neighborhood, will help ease your body back into activity. Have a friend join you, walk your dog, listen to a podcast or some music, or just enjoy the pure bliss of being outside. If walking isn’t your thing, a short, easy recovery ride on a stationary bike will also do the job!


5.   Fill Your Time with Other Things You Enjoy!

It’s common that, after filling so much of your free time with running and training for your marathon, you go a little stir-crazy post-race, not being able to run. Resist the urge! Allow yourself to rest and allow your body to fully recover. Try dedicating your spare time throughout the week to whatever else brings you joy, while still letting your body relax.  

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Tips for your Post-Marathon Recovery Week as seen in Cain's Weekly Rundown on 11/21/2022