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The best way to recover after a half marathon

The best way to recover after a half marathon


Running is a very popular sport at the moment and for those of you wanting to push on from the 10km races, running a half marathon can be good challenge. Many half marathons will be taking place over the summer, with some popular like the Clontarf half and the Rock and Roll half taking place over the summer. While getting your training right for an event like this is very important, knowing the best way to recover is also crucial.

The first thing to do is keep moving. Your body has been undergoing moderate to high intensity exercise for the last couple of hours so if you sit down immediately you will get extremely stiff. A slow walk over a period of ten or fifteen minutes will allow the body to cool down gradually.

Your body will have lost a substantial amount of fluid during your race so remember to drink plenty to re-hydrate your body. This is even more important over the warmer summer months. Water is a great choice for rehydrating the body, but remember during intense exercise you lose electrolytes and sodium as well so you may consider a drink that will replace these too.

Having burnt numerous calories during your race you need to eat to help refuel the body and prevent fatigue. High protein, high fat snacks such as nuts can be helpful to restore energy. Carbohydrates that release energy quickly can be helpful in this immediate post-race period to keep energy levels up.

You’ve likely spent a significant amount of time and effort training for this event so take a well-deserved break from running for at least a few days. In this time it’s crucial to keep moving with walking, a light swim or other gentle exercise. When you start back running it’s a good idea to ‘reverse taper’, that is start off with a small run and build up gradually. If you were experiencing any difficulties during your training, it can be beneficial to undergo a running assessment which we offer here at our Dublin 4 clinic.

In the few weeks after a big event it’s a good idea to set a new goal. This will help keep you motivated and continuing to work towards improving fitness levels. Check out the race schedule on

For further information about race recovery, contact us at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic.

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