As the final countdown for the Comrades marathon begins, we would like to wish our patients the very best of luck and congratulate them on all the many hours of difficult preparation they have completed.
The ultimate human race is not one that should be winged, and neither should your recovery. Here are a few tips to stay injury free and have a faster recovery following the marathon.
Fix it sooner than later: If you notice a loose lace or start to get chafe early in the race, adjust it before it becomes an easily preventable injury. The same rule applies for your stride and foot placement. Pay attention to the length of your stride and how your joints feel as you place your foot down. Do your muscles feel like they are firing correctly? Are your arches collapsing? If this is the case, try to activate the necessary muscle groups during the race. An example of this would be wiggling your toes to bring attention to the feet or doing one or two quick squats to get the glutes firing.
Rehydrate: You will lose a lot of fluid while running 87km. Remember to keep taking small sips during the race and to drink an electrolyte supplemented drink with in 30 minutes of finishing.
Keep moving: It can be very tempting to collapse once you pass the finish line, but it is important to keep moving and do some light stretching while your heart rate recovers so your body can deliver nutrient rich blood to your recovering muscles. Continue to do light stretching and slowly introduce cross-training in the days following the marathon.
Refuel: It is vital that you replenish lost nutrients shortly after the marathon. Aim for food or supplements high in carbs and protein.
Take a bath: A warm Epsom salt bath is a good way to relax, gather your thoughts and sooth your muscles. It is also important to get clean and out of damp clothes as soon as possible.
Sleep: Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep after the marathon. This is when the body does the most of its healing.
Massage: Massage is an effective method of improving the flow of nutrient filled blood to your recovering muscles. Dr Kate Dinkelmann is qualified in sports massage therapy and can give further advice to speed up your recovery.
Chiropractic: It is impossible to do anything, especially running, for such a long period of time without your form deteriorating. Poor posture, running style, and pain following the run leads to poor alignment, incorrect firing of muscle groups and then further poor posture. Within a few days of your run visit your chiropractor to ensure that your body is recovering optimally.
At Dr Kate Dinkelmann Chiropractic, we offer patient-centred care to help you heal better and faster.