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8 Active Recovery Strategies You Should Try After the NYC Marathon

With the NYC Marathon scheduled for Sunday, November 5th, the excitement and preparation are reaching their peak. But equally important to your race strategy is your recovery plan. Proper post-marathon recovery is crucial in avoiding injuries and ensuring quick healing. Park North Physical Therapy is dedicated to aiding your recovery with some insightful tips and techniques, specially tailored for the aftermath of the demanding race. 

Here's how you can bounce back effectively after taking on the 26.2 around the five boroughs of NYC:

Epsom Salt Soak 

A warm bath with Epsom salt at the end of your marathon can work wonders. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, helping to reduce muscle inflammation and soreness. Plus, they can provide a relaxing effect conducive to a restful night’s sleep.

Stretch and Rest 

The initial 72 hours post-marathon should focus heavily on rest and gentle stretching. Try lying on the floor with your legs extended upward against a wall to reduce inflammation and aid in nervous system recovery.

Rehydrate & Boost Vitamin Intake

Replenishing fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat and exertion is crucial. Opt for sports drinks with a balance of electrolytes and carbs to quickly replenish your body's needs. To make sure your body is getting adequate nutrition post-run, consider increasing your intake of vitamins, especially Vitamin C for its anti-inflammatory properties, and Vitamin D3 for muscle repair. Integrating bone broth into your diet can also support joint and connective tissue health.

Foam Rolling 

During intense exercise like running a marathon, your body produces lactic acid as a byproduct. Although a natural process, excess lactic acid can accumulate in the muscles, leading to soreness and stiffness. By rolling over tight and sore muscle groups, you can help disperse the buildup of lactic acid, aiding in quicker recovery and reducing soreness.  Aim to roll toward your heart to support better lymphatic drainage.

Ice Therapy 

Applying ice or taking an ice bath after the race is an effective way to manage muscle inflammation. This method can also accelerate the recovery process, preparing you faster for your next training session.

Active Release Technique (ART) 

At Park North in New York City, we are certified in active release technique (ART). This is a hands-on technique that’s effective in diagnosing and treating issues in muscles, tendons, fascia and nerves. This approach is more focused and therapeutic than traditional massage, and great for recovering strong

Cupping Therapy 

Cupping, a method where cups are placed on the skin to create suction, is an excellent way to enhance circulation, relieve muscle tension and promote cell repair – all vital for post-marathon recovery. It can also help alleviate muscle stiffness and promote the healing of running-related injuries.

Low-Level Laser Therapy 

If you've been experiencing persistent pain after running that just doesn't seem to subside, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) might be a treatment worth considering. It is a non-invasive treatment using light to reduce pain and inflammation. This method can accelerate the healing process, particularly useful in treating muscle strains, tendinitis and other running-related injuries. LLLT helps in reducing recovery time, allowing you to return to training with reduced risk of recurrence.

Maintain Your Physical Health With Park North Physical Therapy

Even when you’re in peak physical condition, recovery is a cornerstone of continued health and performance. After conquering challenges like the NYC marathon, it's essential to prioritize recuperation. Take ample time to rest, allow your muscles to heal, and use recovery techniques that enhance the restoration process. Remember, a proactive approach to post-event recovery not only speeds up the healing time but also prepares you for future challenges, ensuring you're always at the top of your game. 

Even if you are not running the marathon this year, please get out there and support the runners! Marathon day in NYC is one of the most fun days of the year and the runners truly appreciate the genuine support and encouragement. 

Trust in Park North Physical Therapy to guide and support you in your fitness journey, ensuring every step you take is one of strength, resilience and optimal well-being. Fill out the online contact form or call 212-222-6525 to schedule an appointment in Harlem or Morningside Heights.