It’s that special time of year again when the Missoula Marathon is upon us this Sunday, and I’m sure the first thing that is on nearly every runner’s mind is what you will do after the race. After weeks of training and discipline, it’s only natural to want to let loose, go crazy, or just go home and take a nap. Here are a couple things that you will want to keep in mind after you cross that finish line to ensure you do not spend the next week in pain.
• Cool down : This is an important part of any workout. After your run, make sure you cool down with a walk or light jog for about a mile. This could be as little as walking around the expo area, but make sure you keep moving. When you stop moving your muscle will begin to stiffen and will cause you to hate your body for the next couple days.
• Rehydrate and refuel!: If there is one thing you MUST do post-marathon it is rehydrate. Focus on sports drinks. These drinks are more ideal then water post-Marathon because they will replenish the electrolytes you lost during the race. Make sure you drink at least 16 oz after the race even if you feel hydrated. Dehydration is common in post-marathon runners, so watch out for the signs such as headaches and dizziness. Make sure you also replace your body’s glucose levels by eating some bread or fruit. These simple carbs will help refuel your tired muscles.
• Stretching: Don’t neglect to stretch. It’s another important part of a cool down. Keeping your muscle long and loose will help you avoid severe soreness over the next couple days. Focus on stretching all your major muscle groups. If you need stretching ideas please come visit Alpine Physical Therapy’s stretching stations at the marathon this Sunday and at the expo on Saturday.
• Massage: Alpine Physical Therapy’s team of physical therapist will be at the marathon this Sunday offering massages for your sore muscles. Stop by for a quick massage and chat with a therapist. Massages are going for $20 for 15min! See you there and Good Luck!
Congratulations to all of Missoula Marathon’s runners out there. Make sure you treat your body to some stretching, carbs, sports drinks, and massage. Soreness is unavoidable post-marathon, but a strategic cool down can reduce it.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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