Congratulations – you’ve just finished an epic run. Breathe – after the endurance of a marathon your mind and body (especially legs) will need some serious recovery.

The main muscles that were heavily worked during the long run – your quads, hamstrings and calves – will be dehydrated, sore, with depleted fuel stores and susceptible to injury. As a result effective recovery is as critical as the pre-marathon drill to help your legs rejuvenate, repair and come back strong for another event.

So how do you conquer leg muscle fatigue and recover quickly? Here are 3 tips to help you out:

1.  Rehydrate and refuel

You’ll be dehydrated in the first few days after the marathon ends, so your aim should be to rehydrate the muscles as soon as possible because dehydration can be catabolic, suppressing your immune system and impairing the recovery of muscle cells. Make sure to sip on plenty of fluids during your normal routine; these can be coconut water, hypotonic or isotonic sports beverage, fruit juice or just plain water.

You also need to note that a marathon run makes the body burn a substantial amount of calories, and it breaks down leg muscles at a cellular store while depleting glycogen stores. All these need to be replenished via intake of high-quality nutrients. You can opt for high-glycemic carbs (banana, white bread, etc.) after the race ends and then add some proteins (free-range eggs, organic milk, etc.) in the days that follow for optimal muscle repair.

2.  Leverage compression

According to, gradient compression hosiery can deliver a controlled amount of pressure at the ankle and then gradually reduce this pressure to promote optimal blood flow to the ligaments and muscles of the leg while preventing swelling. Compression gear is ideal for recovery, as it increases the flow of venous blood (the blood that returns to the heart) and increases the removal of un-wanted byproducts to reenergize your feet for the next run.

Modern companies leverage advanced technologies for developing compression products that are comfortable and fashionable while providing the recovery benefits you need. You can choose from a wide range of colors and advantages such as sheer yarns, knit pattern texture options, and updated shades, so you’ll feel good about wearing compression highs when going about through your day.

3.  Socialize and rest

Hours of training leading up to the big day and a huge commitment on your part to achieve the goal is often life-and-time consuming. So after the euphoria of finishing the race, you need to relax your muscles as well as your mind. This could be a good time to catch up with family and peers who’ve felt sidelined by your training commitments. Join them and engage in your favorite activities to relax your mind and body (hey you’ve earned it).

Another great way to rest your mind and body for optimal recovery is to get some sleep. While preparing yourself for a good night’s sleep, try putting a pillow under your legs and feet to elevate them; this would help you recover from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). If your legs are aching, apply ice packs to the sore areas a few hours before bed.

With these measures, your legs will be on their way to recover and be ready for the next big run. 

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