What to do after completing a big race

April 29, 2016

Maria Nolan

Top tips for a speedy post-race recovery

Around 38,000 people took part in this year’s London Marathon. An incredible achievement and a momentous day for anyone who took part. Congratulations from everyone here at Nolan Osteopathy.

Summer is just around the corner and we’re seeing the start of a string of race events, with the Brighton Marathon just gone and many taking part in other popular challenges such as the Race for Life or Tough Mudder. With all of these races, it is so important to have a healthy balance between training and recovery, while still retaining fitness.

Whether it was your first race this year or you’re a seasoned runner, the rules of recovery remain the same. Here are our top tips for keeping your body healthy and retaining fitness post-race.

Eat well and keep hydrated

It is so important to eat a balanced diet and perhaps increase carbohydrate intake post-race. Your body can only store a small amount of energy in the muscles which will be used up during the race, so it’s important to ensure you replenish your energy stores to keep the body functioning well. Similarly, hydration plays a key role in the recovery process, so be sure to drink plenty of water at regular intervals both during and after the race.


Be sure to allow for a period of rest and relaxation after any race. It is often a good idea to book a day or two off work after the date of a race in order to ensure you give yourself enough time to sleep, relax and focus on your recovery. Don’t ignore any niggles and speak to a qualified professional, such as an Osteopath, if you have any concerns. Some runners find it helpful to book in for a sports massage to help easy any tension or strain after the event.

Swimming and gentle exercise

Swimming is a brilliant way to help retain your fitness after any running challenge. It is a great low impact form of exercise and will help maintain your fitness routine, without putting excessive strain on muscle injuries you may have picked up during the run.

Walking is also a good way to easy your body back into the exercise routine post-race, but if you do feel the need to keep up with some kind of running regime, it is advisable to try to run on soft surfaces where possible in order to reduce the impact on the joints and tendons.

Don’t forget, if you’ve picked up an injury or if you’re taking part in training for a race or challenge in the coming months, we treat joint pain, ligament sprains, muscle and tendon strains as well as general sports injuries here at Nolan Osteopathy. We’re always happy to give advice or answer any concerns you may have, so feel free to give us a call.