You’ve just finished a marathon and your quads and calves feel like they’ve gone through a meat grinder.
While studies have shown there is no way to eliminate delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), there are ways to decrease your perceived discomfort.
For some, a post-race ice bath is just what your quads ordered. While it can be difficult to sit in a cold tub after a run, wearing a warm coat and hat while sipping a hot drink can help ease the discomfort. Swim shoes or scuba booties will keep your toes a little toastier too.
The water doesn’t have to be below freezing to be effective. Keep the temperature between 50 and 55 degrees, and don’t stay in longer than 20 minutes.
If you’re going to be traveling by road or by plane after the race, remember that compression clothing isn’t only for race day.
Although the science behind compression clothing for recovery is debated, compression socks, tights and sleeves have been shown to decrease perceived muscle soreness.
Compression socks feel great on your calves after the race, but if your quads need some pampering too, you might want to go for a tight or full-length leg sleeve.
Skins makes lightweight tights just for travel, that are comfortable enough to be worn under your clothes.
Skins recovery tights available online for $120.00.
If it’s too warm for tights, or you don’t like the way they feel around your waist and abdomen while you travel, consider a full-length leg sleeve instead.
RecoFit, a company that has made excellent calf sleeves for the past couple of years, now makes a full leg sleeve that provides compression to your ankles, calves, hamstrings and quads.
Much like a thigh high, the RecoFit full leg sleeve goes about ¾ of the way up your thigh. They’re very lightweight, easy to put on, and often more comfortable than a tight for long plane trips.
They also have a mesh area behind the knee, allowing your knees to bend comfortably without bunching up and pinching when you sit.
RecoFit Leg Compressors are available online for $74.95.
While you may still be backing down stairs and shuffling along for three to four days after your marathon, following a proper post marathon plan for your quads and calves can help give you a leg up on your recovery.
For all of the latest marathon news, please hit the ‘subscribe’ button above to have all Marathon Examiner articles delivered directly to your inbox for free. You can also follow me on Twitter @RunWrite.