Mr. Chan Ka Ho - Winner of Men's 10km Challenge of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2012
A determined mind for endurance is essential for runners completing a marathon race. While on the other hand, it is also very important to have sufficient rest and proper recovery exercise after the race too. Not only can it lower the risk of injury, but it can also quickly eliminate fatigue. Having a suitable post-race meal and moderate jogging will also help for future races and facilitate the body’s recovery.
Do not stop immediately after the race, no matter how tired you are or how hard it is to lift your legs, you must keep walking. Runners should have full-body stretching after the race, in order to relax the muscles of your entire body. Runners may consider using massage cream while massaging their legs, as it can speed up blood circulation and ease muscle pain after the race.
Runners should take lots of good rest and relish the enjoyment of finishing the race. While resting, do more leg stretching exercises and let the fatigued muscles relax. The week after, you may begin a recovery run of around 20 to 30 minutes. Continue with the recovery run every day and keep it at a moderate speed of around 3 km for every 20 minutes. Low intensity cross training can be an option for recovery training. Do not drop out of training just because you are lazy or you think your body needs to rest. Jogging can enhance blood circulation and bring away the lactic acid accumulated in your body, as well as the fatigue feeling.
Besides recovery training, runners should watch their diet simultaneously, especially those who participated in a full marathon. All the glycogen stored in your body will be used up by the time you finish the race, therefore, runners should replace the loss of fluid, electrolytes, carbohydrates and proteins by eating and drinking well. As for replenishing food and drinks, bananas are a good alternative to sports drinks. A single banana can provide around 100 calories and a rich supply of starch and electrolytes like potassium which can replenish what you have lost during the race.