Tis the season to…be a marathon runner! – By Faye Burge, Senior Physiotherapist at Physio4Life 


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Tis the season to…be a marathon runner!

At mile 20 I thought I was dead.At mile 22 I wished I was dead.At mile 24 I knew I was dead.At mile 26.2 I realised I had become too tough to kill!

superman faye article

You’ve finished the London marathon well done you! In fact, in my eyes you are such a super hero you should be able to stride proudly into work wearing a cape and nothing but your favourite pair of pants!  So whether you’re a season veteran or a running newbie you crossed that line after 26.2 miles with gusto (well, fell over it in an exhausted heap.)  But now what? True to form I’ve seen a couple of “John Wayne’s” through the doors post pavement pounding and if it wasn’t for my professional integrity they’d be filmed and put on YouTube instantly!

So for all those who still have marathons to go may I impart a few post pounding words of wisdom.  Now would be the time to don the compression tights (as sported by Jade our hero of a physio who competed on Sunday), yes they may not be adequate office attire and you probably won’t win “ best dressed  2015” (unless you look like Jade), but to help boost circulation they are a winner indeed. Secondly, start getting the blood going and easing some of the lactic acid out of the muscles with some very gentle cardio work – I would strongly recommend swimming in a warm pool, (those that live near Teddington would be warned that its waters may not be the warmest)!

As for your nutrition, although you’ve burnt enough calories to eat a Toblerone the same size as your house you may want to think about this carefully.  As sugar appears to be the popular misdemeanour of the hour making the correct choices as to which types of sugar you place in your body after an endurance event may have a direct impact on your recovery. For full details regarding wise nutritional choices pre and post marathon please do come visit Dan our guru of all things food!

And for those who hate the cold, like my self (yes I’m aware of the irony of the highlander who hates anything below 22degrees) I’m afraid its ice bath time.  There is now a vast quantity of empirical evidence to suggest that icing post endurance event has a substantial positive effect on recovery time.  Interestingly the adverse effects have been found for icing post weight training. Be brave, time to fill the tub with cubes and take the plunge for as long as the ‘delicates’ can stomach it.

At the end of the day there are about 1001 things you should and 1002 things you shouldn’t.  Be your own best chum at the end of the race.  Knowing your limits is half the fight when entering an endurance run. There is a difference between hitting “the wall” (mine hit me like a train at the 23mile marker during my Edinburgh marathon many moons ago), and your body saying “stop and help”. The mentality of ‘I just need to keep running” has had catastrophic consequences for some.  So take heed: Listen to your own body, hydrate and refuel when able/as required and be as preventive as possible regarding your injuries.   And remember, all three of our female physios have had first hand experience at marathon racing so should you have a question you know you’re in safe hands.

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