8 Great Tools & Tips for Post Marathon Recovery
This article about the best tools and tips for post marathon recovery was written by Dr. Marla Ranieri
This marathon season is already underway with the 2020 United Airlines NYC Half. If you are an avid runner, you probably have already checked out the Marathon Season Calendar! Spring will be upon us soon and it is the perfect weather for a long run and some serious training. It is difficult to decide which race you should enter. Many people find themselves entering multiple races with goals of breaking their PR (personal record).
Marathon training can be grueling at times, but as long as your body holds up and you avoid running injuries, you will keep running the distance until you reach your goals! Therefore, it is important that you prioritize your time and fit in some health self-care activities to keep you feeling good. This includes physical therapy! Every runner should have a physical therapist as part of their “team” in order to provide expert tips on how to recover from a marathon. This therapist also assists with general injuries and concerns during training.
A physical therapist is a runner’s best friend. They are someone you can check in with during your training to take care of all your aches and pains in addition to providing you resources for recovery after a marathon.
Physical therapists have many tools available to keep your body healthy and keep you on your feet. Below are 8 great tips for recovery for runners during marathon season.
1. AntiGravity Treadmill:
Many physical therapy clinics offer anti-gravity treadmills which allow you to continue running with decreased loading and pounding on your joints. This treadmill can unweight your body up to 100%, therefore allowing you to continue to train for your marathon without further aggravating an injury. 2. Game Ready:
Many physical therapy clinics offer a game-ready device as part of a marathon recovery plan, which is the “superhero” of ice machines. It is a device that uses constantly-flowing cold water in addition to active compression to reduce swelling, decrease pain, and speed up pre- and post-marathon recovery.
3. Foam Roller:
If you are an avid runner, you should own a foam roller to assist with marathon recovery for muscles. However, owning a foam roller is just not enough. A physical therapist teaches you exactly how to use your foam roller, which areas of your body you should be foam rolling, and at what frequency. If you would like to learn more about foam rolling for marathon recovery, here is a great article.
4. Therapeutic Kinesiology Tape (KT Tape):
When you have an injury and need a “band-aid,” KT tape is commonly used in the running community. KT Tape is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide lightweight external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. Physical therapists know how to apply KT tape correctly. They will teach you how to apply KT tape to yourself for your specific injury and faulty movement patterns.
Many physical therapists utilize the technique of cupping as part of a marathon recovery plan. It increases blood flow, breaks up tissue adhesions, and improves mobility. Cupping helps to reduce soreness and increase the healing of chronic and overworked muscles.
6. Graston Technique Tools:
Due to all that running, your muscles can become tight, tense, and restricted. Many therapists utilize instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization, or Graston tools, to break up those restrictions and assist with recovery after a marathon or run. This is believed to increase mobility and decrease pain. This assists with your marathon recovery.
7. NormaTec Recovery System:
Many physical therapists offer dynamic compression devices such as NomaTech to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid, and speed muscle recovery. These machines are great for those sore, achy muscles pre-and post-marathon training. It can be part of your rehabilitation and post-marathon recovery routine when going to a physical therapy clinic.
8: Therapeutic Exercises:
This suggestion for how to recover from a marathon is not as “sexy” and fun as all the other tips and tools. However, it is actually one of the most important. A physical therapist provides you with an appropriate exercise plan. They tailor this plan to your specific body needs. This helps you feel your best during recovery after a marathon. This is done preventatively, too. By being proactive, you work on your already-existing deficits to avoid future running injuries. Commonly, people use it as a way to rehabilitate/recover an injury that has already occurred. You can read more about cross-training exercises here.
Physical Therapy Appointments for Post Marathon Recovery
We encourage you to start thinking about your muscle recovery plan during marathon season and schedule your pre-and post-marathon recovery appointments now. In addition to physical therapy for shin splints, marathon recovery and utilizing the tools mentioned above, there are other options, too. For example, choosing the best shoes keeps your entire body healthy. You may not think that your footwear is important, but it really is. Making good choices now helps you prepare for your next race, as well as impacts recovery for runners immediately.
With the BetterPT clinic location tool website or BetterPT app, you can schedule an available appointment in any location. Without a doctor’s prescription, you can even schedule during the week of your marathon if it is in a different city than you currently live. One especially useful option is telemedicine through the BetterTelehealth platform. Why drive to and from your physical therapy appointments when you can have them in your own home? Find physical therapy provided in a city near you and get started.
We hope you stay happy and healthy and have your best running season yet!
Dr. Marla Ranieri graduated from Stanford University with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology in 2005 and went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2009. She has worked with all types of individuals, including professional athletes as part of the USA Gymnastics Medical Staff. Marla continues to treat patients with evidence-based medicine and the best quality of care.