Congratulations! You ran the marathon! Once you’ve worn your medal to work and the celebrations have died down, it’s time to assess what went well, what didn’t, and how to make it better or the next training cycle.
As you’re recovering from the marathon, don’t neglect to rebuild your immune system. Take this time to get your body back to100% before you get back out there. A recent study looked at the effects of marathon training on neutrophils and your immune system. Neutrophils are responsible for attacking the surface of bacteria in the body.
This study tested the blood of 23 male runners 24 and 72 hours after the marathon. They found high levels of anti-inflammatory cells, which the body uses to repair muscle damage but abnormally low levels of neutrophils. They further found that a significant number of runners developed an upper respiratory infection in the weeks after the race.
It is always important to remember that your body had just done an amazing thing, and ALL systems need time to rest and reset, not just your muscles. Make sure in the weeks following the marathon - especially as the temperature drops - that vitamins, fluids and REST are the best medicine.
Kathleen Leninger, DPT