Marathon Recovery

7 Ways to Save Your Sanity After A Marathon

We love hard things, we’re marathoners!  We are the kind of people who are fueled by challenges, dreams, and goals.  By 5 am we’re up and running the dark streets of our towns leaving streaks of caffeinated nitrous behind us.  We pull double run shifts because there are so many miles to run we can’t fit them all into our “pre-work”, “pre-kid wake-up” schedules. So when the marathon is over and your seven day workout plan is blank…yeah-that can be hard too.

I took one full week off from working out.  No running, no spinning, no lifting, no nothing.  (Sometimes I have to clarify with myself that nothing does not mean an easy eight, it means nothing).  So here are seven things that saved my sanity:

  1. A Pedicure-Our poor toes!  They really are the sacrificial lambs of marathon running.  I still have ten toes, but only 8 toenails survived.  Give them a few days to heal, and then paint those babies…black.  You’ll have to choose black to cover the bruising, or a really deep purple, but at least they’ll be ready for public viewing again.  Plus, it’s well deserved pampering.
  2. Professional Repair-In addition to spending a lot of one on one time with foam roller and lacrosse ball and living in compression socks,  I always make sure I see my physical therapist for Astym therapy and my chiropractor for an adjustment.  These are professionals that I see frequently so it’s not anything new, but I believe that the soft tissue treatment and the spinal alignment help my body’s ability to recover more quickly.

    I always pick this up at my chiropractor's office. It helps my muscles recover.

    I always pick this up at my chiropractor’s office. It helps my muscles recover faster.

  3. Sleep In-Bask in the luxuriousness of what most people call a Saturday or Sunday morning (also known as a weekend).  Do not set your alarm and keep those covers pulled over your head.  If your life demands that you follow a schedule (because marathon leave isn’t covered by insurance yet) press snooze at least twice.  Both the quality and quantity of sleep are crucial to helping your body properly recover
  4. Retail Therapy-I love to celebrate the completion of a race with something new that will inspire me to want to get back out there and train, and it’s usually not the race shirt.  Instead treat yourself to this Bolt Long Sleeve from Oiselle I am obsessed with the print on these shirts.
  5. Focus on Friends and Family-For months our lives are hyper focused, organized, and driven around completing a marathon.  It’s so important to let other things take priority for a while, and show gratitude to the people who gave us their love and support.  The refocusing were simple things like calling my parents, cooking my husband’s favorite dinner, and heading to the pumpkin patch twice with my Little (I think she loves Halloween as much as I do).

    Even if it's ninety, we wear our boots to the farm.

    Even if it’s ninety, we wear our boots to the farm.

  6. Do It Yourself Project-I’m not the craftiest person, but I’ve been known to shake an occasional can of spray paint or two.  I finally tackled a project that has been on my to-do list for months. With the help of my sister-in-law I repainted our front porch chairs and table in a nice friendly blue.   I also painted a good portion of our garage floor blue…next time more tarps-got it! FullSizeRender-19
  7. Reflect-It’s so important to take some time and reflect on your race experience.  It’s okay to have a good laugh or a good cry.  Write the memories down before they’re gone and don’t spare any details.  There’s always the good, the bad, and the awesome.


It’s amazing how doctor’s appointments, sleep, family outings, craft projects, more sleep, and a little shopping can fill the blank space of running…at least for a week.  It’s not always easy to take a hiatus from what we love, but in the long run (pun totally intended) your body will thank you.  Happy running friends!

How much time do you take off after a marathon?

What’s your favorite way to spend your non-running time?



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